Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, released the following statement Wednesday on President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2014 budget request:
“Today, President Obama presented a budget that represents his continued efforts to invest in our economy, strengthen the middle class, and reduce the deficit in a responsible and balanced way through a combination of spending cuts and new revenue.
“Overall, the president’s budget is a reflection of his understanding that our country’s greatest challenge is to get our economy fully restarted and creating jobs. His budget invests in our economy by funding important priorities like research and development, education and infrastructure. The president knows we won’t create jobs today or enable sustained economic growth without investing in innovation and ensuring our kids receive a quality education. And I am pleased that his budget replaces the sequester, which is already causing harmful cuts to important priorities on the Central Coast and across the country.
“He funds basic research at the National Institutes of Health, ensures our ports are secure, makes sure all our kids come to school ready to learn through programs like Head Start, and guarantees that seniors in need of a good meal can get it through programs like Meals on Wheels.
“While I appreciate President Obama’s genuine effort to yet again go the extra mile to find common ground with Republicans in Congress and get Washington working again, I am disappointed that misplaced cuts to our nation’s social safety net are so front and center. Especially glaring is the president’s inclusion of the Republican plan to cut Social Security benefits by reducing cost-of-living increases. The use of so-called ‘chained CPI,’ an inaccurate change to the Social Security cost-of-living formula, would result in benefit cuts for our seniors, persons with disabilities and our veterans. Social Security has not contributed to our deficit, and benefits should not be cut in the name of deficit reduction, particularly as fewer employers offer pension plans and private retirement plans have been hit by the recession.
“I know we can meet the challenge of bringing our budget in line without cutting programs so important to seniors living on a fixed income.”
— Ashley Schapitl is press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.