The U.S. House of Representatives Thursday approved a $3.4 trillion budget for the fiscal year that begins October 1st, making a victory statement for President Barack Obama on his 100th day in the Whitehouse. The vote was 233-193 on a plan that supports the President’s priorities, including restructuring health care and fighting climate change.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says this is the first time in many years that lawmakers have a budget that is a statement of U.S. national values.
House Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt of South Carolina addressed fellow House members, in statements closely watched by U.S. as well as international media, that the proposal will cut the federal budget deficit by nearly two-thirds by 2013, and even further in 2014. He says the record deficit for this year, mostly inherited from the Bush Administration, represents 12 percent of the Gross Domestic Product.
Spratt told his colleagues that the budget cuts the deficit to a more sustainable level of three percent in 2014 and will make a difference. “Budgets are about more than numbers. They’re about values and visions and investments. And what we have to talk about this budget is what it will do for health care in this country, particularly for the $46-million who do not have coverage, and what it will do for higher education, that we can tell young people that, “Yes!”, you can get a college education, that Pell grants will help you do so.”
Spratt says the proposal will do a lot for the growth of the country. “What it will do is increase energy independence in this country and reduce carbon emissions, and we can have energy innovation. All of this is provided for in this bill and I emphasize that all of it is provided for in deficit neutral reserve funds, which do not add to the bottom line of debt of the United States.”