WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) issued the following statement following the release of President Barack Obama’s Fiscal Year 2010 budget:
“President Obama’s budget is an important step in putting Ohio’s economy back on track. For too long, the needs of middle class families and Ohio communities have been ignored in the federal budgets. As a result, Ohio families are struggling to afford to send their children to college, meet health care needs, and pay their energy bills. Ohio communities are struggling to attract new jobs and economic development because of deteriorating infrastructure.
“President Obama’s budget sets the stage for long-term economic growth in Ohio through investments in education, clean energy, and infrastructure and tax relief for middle class families and small businesses. It would provide funding to fix our broken health care system— and reverse the rising health care costs that threaten the security of middle class families and compromise the competiveness of American businesses.
“During the past eight years, ill-advised priorities turned budget surpluses into dangerous deficits. President Obama inherited a fiscal mess that will take more than one year to clean up. By cutting waste and investing in middle class families, President Obama’s budget would set our nation back on a course of economic prosperity. This budget recognizes that we need to put the needs of Main Street first.”
President Obama’s budget would provide for than $5.5 billion to support education in Ohio—ensuring Ohioans are prepared for jobs of the 21st century. The budget includes more than $565 million to strengthen education in underserved communities and more than $108 million to recruit the best educators to work in Ohio schools. By expanding the Pell Grant program and investing $4.5 billion in Ohio, more than 6,000 Ohio students would be able to afford the cost of a college education. Thousands of additional Ohioans would receive assistance through the permanent creation of a $2,500 tax credit for college costs. The budget would also save the government an estimated $48 billion over the next decade by eliminating costly subsidized loans and replacing them with more cost-effective federal direct loans—a provision for which Brown has long advocated.
The budget would bring new economic development and job creation through investments in clean energy and infrastructure. It would expand important loan guarantees that help clean energy companies research, develop, and commercialize advanced energy technologies. The budget would also make infrastructure investments to help fix Ohio roads and bridges and expand broadband access in rural areas.
The budget would also bring important tax relief to Ohio families and small businesses. Under the budget, more than 4.5 million families would be able to take home more of their monthly paychecks through the “Making Work Pay” tax credit. Ohio’s 851,000 small businesses would see an elimination of the capital gains tax on certain stocks to encourage job growth and economic development.
Finally, the budget includes funds to fix our nation’s broken health care system. Nearly 3 million Ohioans are uninsured and thousands of Ohio business and households struggle to afford health care costs. The budget includes more than $600 billion to improve U.S. health care. Brown has been leading the fight in the Senate to ensure health care reform includes a federally-backed health insurance option that would compete with private HMOs, lower health care costs, and improve the quality of care.