Looking to “build an economy to last,” President Obama has released his proposed budget for FY 2013. Many of its provisions won’t come as a surprise: the President began laying the groundwork for his budget with his economic speech in Kansas in December and again during the State of the Union Address in January. The budget simply serves as the plan to put his aspirations into action.
After a preliminary review, Generations United’s Policy Team by and large gives the budget a thumbs up, cautioning that it does contain some cuts to social service programs. Here’s a brief summary of the major provisions that affect children, youth and older adults.
- The President’s budget provided important increases in Early Education Investments and Community Supports through increased funding for Head Start and Early Head Start and for an early learning challenge focus within the Race to the Top program. Generations United supports the continued integration of early childhood programs and the increased investment in these programs.
- The budget continues to fund our nation’s Commitment to Programs Serving Vulnerable Populations through important programs such as Woman, Infants, and Children (WIC) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Unfortunately the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) was not given sufficient priority in a time of rising home energy costs and stressed family budgets.
- The budget takes important steps toward College Affordability and Tax Relief efforts by increasing the maximum Pell Grant award and making expansions of several tax credits permanent.
- The budget proposes a modest increase to continue the Support for Volunteerism, for important programs like Senior Corps, that does great work engaging seniors to serve children and at-risk youth in our communities.
- The FY13 budget provides funding to continue the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which provides critical health care coverage and support for our youngest and oldest generations.
- The President’s 2013 budget also includes a commitment to strengthen Social Security. Generations United urges the Administration to continue their commitment to this issue and pledge not to cut Social Security.
Generations United will continue to work with Members of Congress and the Administration on improving/supporting these and other critical programs for children and older adults in order to strengthen our country and support an economy built to last.
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