Pingree & King on Obama’s 2014 Budget Proposal

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 1,400)

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree issued the following statement on President Obama’s proposed fiscal year 2014 budget. Her statement was released on April 10th.

“The President is on the right track on deficit reduction by limiting tax write-offs for millionaires and billionaires.  That will help bring our deficit under control and get rid of the sequester cuts, which are hurting working  families and dragging down the economy.  The wealthy have done very well in this economy and it makes sense to ask them to pay a little more.

There are some areas I disagree with the President’s priorities, however.  One is on another cut to heating assistance to low income families.  Maine is a state with harsh winters, old housing stock and a high reliance on oil.  Heating assistance is already not enough for many families to keep warm, but the President’s budget cuts LIHEAP by $473 million.

I also strongly disagree with the President over his proposal to limit cost of living increases for seniors on Social Security.  Seniors did not create the deficit and the budget shouldn’t be balanced on their backs.  They have worked hard and contributed to Social Security all their lives and shouldn’t face cuts to their benefits.”

In a comparable statement, Senator Angus King, Jr. said:

“It’s encouraging the President has offered a budget that demonstrates his seriousness and commitment to reaching a grand bargain.  As we know, the Senate has produced a budget blueprint, which I helped craft and the House has also produced its own dramatically different budget plan.  The time has come for us to sit down, to reconcile these differences and to create a final budget that promotes job creation and addresses our nation’s long-term fiscal health – because we can no longer afford to lurch from one budget crisis to the next.

In that pursuit, everything must be on the table for consideration and we must approach the process earnestly and in good faith.  Americans have seen the results of intractable political positions and they are fed up with gridlick.  They expect us, as their elected representatives, to solve the prolems facing our nation and we have an opportunity now to demonstrate that we still can.  That is how i will approach the process and I urge my colleagues to join me.”

In a request for Senator King to elaborate his position, he responded:

“I am absoluely concerned about Liheap funding and have joined in signing a letter to the appropriations committee on that very subject urging adequate funding as well as home weatherization funding.  I am not in favor of diminishing cost of living increase for low income seniors.  In working on the President’s budget, I will do all I can to ensure that we incorporate protections for those seniors if the new CPI ends up as part of any larger budget deal.”