Congress passes Obamas transformational budget

Original source: AFL-CIO Now Blog

On the 100th day of the Obama administration, the U.S. House (233-193) and Senate (53-43) approved President Obama’s budget blueprint that rejects the failed economic policies of the Bush administration, makes a major down payment on comprehensive health care reform and signals significant investment in education, clean energy and green jobs.

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney called the budget resolution a ‘transformational blueprint for growing the middle class and making the economy work for everyone again. Now, more than ever, it is crucial that we build an economy that works for working Americans.’

The budget includes tax cuts for middle-class working families, unlike Bush-era tax cuts for the extremely wealthy and Big Business. It also includes a 2.5 percent increase in non-defense, discretionary spending over last year’s budget on such programs as workplace safety, wage and hour protection, education, highway construction, transportation and other areas.

As they have since Obama took office, Republicans offered no new ideas, continuing along as the Party of No, in their opposition to rebuilding the middle class, fixing the economy and improving health care. Not a single Republican in either house voted for the budget resolution. So far this year, congressional Republicans have opposed health care coverage for children, equal pay protections for women and economic recovery legislation.

At his news conference last night, Obama said:

‘This budget builds on the steps we’ve taken over the last 100 days to move this economy from recession to recovery and ultimately to prosperity….We can’t go back to an economy that’s built on a pile of sand, on inflated home prices and maxed-out credit cards, on overleveraged banks and outdated regulations that allow recklessness of a few to threaten the prosperity of all.

‘We have to lay a new foundation for growth, a foundation that will strengthen our economy and help us compete in the 21st century. And that’s exactly what this budget begins to do.’