Thursday, April 30, 2009

A New Era of Progress: Renewing America's Promise

President Obama’s Fiscal 2010 Budget

The President’s 2010 Budget seeks to usher in a new era of responsibility – an era in which we not only do what we must to save and create new jobs and lift our economy out of recession, but in which we also lay a new foundation for long-term growth and prosperity. To do this, the Nation must address some of the deep, systemic problems that have been ignored for too long by making critical investments in: education so that every child can compete in the global economy, health care reform so that we can control costs while boosting coverage and quality, and renewable sources of energy so that we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil and become the world leader in the new clean energy economy.

At the same time, we also must restore fiscal discipline, making sure that we invest in what works and do not waste taxpayer dollars on programs that do not work or are duplicative. Taken together – education, health care, clean energy, and fiscal discipline – are the pillars upon which we can build a new foundation for our economy, a foundation that bring opportunity and growth to all Ameri cans for decades to come. His budget works to give women and families the tools that they need to succeed in this new century. The budget will:

Support expanded resources for family planning programs. The President believes that more needs to be done to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies. Therefore, the President’s budget provides $317 million – a $10 million increase – for Title X Family Planning programs, expanding access to contraception, health information, and preventive services. Family Planning services are provided through a network of more than 4,400 clinics that provide services to approximately 5,000,000 persons annually. In addition to Title X funding, the budget also provides funding through Medicaid to improve access to family planning services, reduce administrative burdens, and give low-income women access to help in avoiding unplanned pregnancies.

Prevent teen pregnancy with evidence-based programs. Teen pregnancy rates have increased for two consecutive years, after falling for the previous decade. The Administration is committed to addressing this issue and has provided $178 million for teen pregnancy prevention and related efforts. A new $110 million initiative targets funds for grants to community-based and faith-based organizations that implement the evidence-based models that have been proven to work in reducing teen pregnancy—models that provide medically-accurate, age-appropriate, and complete information on contraception and sexual health. The model will also fund and rigorously evaluate programs that are promising but not yet proven.

Reinvigorate federal civil rights enforcement. The budget includes $145 million for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division to hire 60 additional attorneys, a number of support staff, and funds technology upgrades. This $22 million dollar and 18 percent increase over the 2009 funding level will help strengthen enforcement against racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, religious, and gender discrimination.

Meet the medical needs of women Veterans. The President’s budget provides 9 percent more for the gender-specific health care needs of women Veterans than in 2009. These resources will address the gender-specific health care needs of women Veterans with a particular emphasis on primary care. The number of women Veterans is growing rapidly and women are becoming increasingly dependent on VA for their health care. More than 450,000 have enrolled for care and this number is expected to grow by 30 percent in the next five years.

Begin the doubling of funding for cancer research. Every family knows someone who has fought cancer. To fight this disease, the budget begins the investment to double funding for cancer research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by including more than $6 billion. These resources will be committed strategically to have the greatest impact on developing innovative diagnostics, treatments, and cures for cancer. This initiative builds on the unprecedented $10 billion provided in the Recovery Act to support NIH research in 2009=2 0and 2010.

Help new parents and newborns with a home visitation program. The President’s budget proposes $8.5 billion in mandatory funds over 10 years for a new home visitation program that provides funds to states for evidence-based home visitation programs for low-income families. The program will provide states with funding primarily to support home visitation models that have been rigorously evaluated and shown to have positive effects on critical outcomes for children and families. Additional funds will be available for promising programs based on models with experimental or quasi-experimental research evidence of effectiveness that will be rigorously tested to assess their impact. Home visitation is an investment that can yield substantial improvements in child health and development, readiness for school, and parenting abilities to support children's optimal cognitive, language, social-emotional, and physical development and reductions in child abuse and neglect.

Help small businesses and entrepreneurs. The budget helps to strengthen small businesses with strong support for financial, technical, and contracting assistance. The budget supports $28 billion in guaranteed loans, an important source of capital for the nation's entrepreneurs, women-owned and minority-owned small businesses. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act also authorized temporary programs to help unlock secondary markets for SBA loans and provide short-term loans to borrowers that require assistance on making payments on existing debt. These programs will continue through FY 2010. The President’s proposal also provides $20 million to incorporate new strategies to enhance coordination among existing Small Business Administration grant partners, such as Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, SCORE, and others, as well as targeting assistance to industries and populations in need. The budget also provides a $1 million increase over 2009 enacted levels for the 7(j) management and technical assistance grant program, which provides technical assistance to small disadvantaged businesses.

Support innovative and effective strategies to improve student achievement. The budget invests in school systems and non-profit organizations with demonstrated track records of success in raising student achievement to expand their work or implement new innovative approaches through the Innovation Fund. The President’s plan supports “Promise Neighborhoods,” a new effort to test innovative strategies to improve academic achievement and life outcomes in high-poverty areas modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zone. The budget provides $10 million for competitive grants to nonprofit, community-based organizations for the development of comprehensive neighborhood programs designed to combat the effects of poverty and improve educational and life outcomes for children.

Make a new investment in early childhood education. We know that a dollar invested in early education will pay off handsomely as these children grow older. That is why the Administration will broaden the reach of early educatio n programs and boost their quality, encouraging new investment, a seamless delivery of services, and better information for parents about program options and quality. In addition, through funds from the Recovery Act and this budget, the President will provide funding to nearly double the number of children served by Early Head Start and expand Head Start, both of which have proven to be successful with younger children.

Expand access to college. The budget expands the maximum Pell Grant award to $5,500 for the next school year, and ensures that future financial aid is reliable and constant. The budget guarantees student access to education loans, protecting students from turmoil in the financial markets and ensuring high-quality services by competitive, private providers. The President’s proposal also overhauls the inefficient and inequitable Perkins Loan program.

Support foreign aid for efforts to expand opportunities for women and families. U.S. foreign assistance impacts women and families in many ways through humanitarian relief efforts and development activities across many sectors such as education, agriculture, microenterprises, and health. Global health programs have a particularly important impact on the lives of millions of women and children, and the President’s budget will provide $8.65 billion for proven, cost-effective approaches to improving global health around the world, most of which will help women and families. This approach will help to save millions of lives, starting with mothers and children under ag e five – 26,000 of whom will lose their lives to extreme poverty and entirely preventable diseases today alone. Of this total, $525 million will support Maternal and Child Health activities, and $475 million will support Family Planning assistance.
Cut taxes for 95 percent of working families.

The President’s budget provides tax cuts for 95 percent of working families across the country. By making the Making Work Pay tax credit permanent, the budget helps middle class families, who are being squeezed by rising costs and stagnating wages, make ends meet. The budget expands the child tax credit, increasing tax refunds for millions of working families. And the President’s proposal also makes permanent the American Opportunity Tax Credit, providing financial assistance for individuals seeking a college education of up to $2,500. Expand coverage, reduce the cost, and boost the quality of health care. High health care costs are a burden on families, businesses, and the entire country. For the future fiscal and economic health of our nation, we must bring down costs, boost quality, and expand coverage. That’s why in this budget, the Administration establishes a reserve fund of $635 billion to finance fundamental reform. This is a significant down payment on health care reform, and the President will work with Congress to craft a plan that pays for itself, brings down costs, guarantees choice and portability, invests in prevention and wellness, and improves patient safety and quality care.

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