President Barack Obama today sent Congress his fiscal 2013 budget proposal, which would reduce the deficit to $901 billion from $1.3 trillion in fiscal 2012, while investing in other areas, such as infrastructure, manufacturing and education initiatives.
“At a time when our economy is growing and creating jobs at a faster clip, we have to keep the recovering going,” Obama said at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Va.
Obama chose the location to tout one element of his budget blueprint — the Community College to Career Fund, which is a program that would train workers for jobs in high-growth industries and for which he is seeking $8 billion in his budget.
“We have to invest ... [and] make sure education is affordable for every hardworking American,” Obama said.
The budget also includes a request for $30 billion to improve about 35,000 schools and another $30 billion to help states and localities retain and hire teachers and first responders.
Obama also stressed that the deficit must also be reined in, though not at the expense of important programs on which the recovery is based.
“I am proposing some difficult cuts that I wouldn’t make if they weren’t absolutely necessary,” Obama said. But “we can’t cut back those things that are important for us to grow.”
Obama also noted his budget would end tax breaks to companies that send jobs overseas, end subsidies for oil companies and boost clean energy initiatives.
As a percent of gross domestic product, the president’s budget would reduce the deficit in fiscal 2013 to 5.5 percent from 8.5 percent in fiscal 2012.
Republicans pounced on the proposal.
“This proposal isn’t really a budget at all. It’s a campaign document,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement. “This was a real opportunity for the President to get serious about the fiscal situation we face in the Obama economy, but once again, the President is shirking his responsibility to lead and using this budget to divide. The plan is obvious: Rather than reach out to members of Congress on a consensus budget, the President will take this budget on the road, as he is today, and talk about the parts he thinks audiences will like. What he won’t say is that it’s bad for job creation, bad for seniors, and that it will make the economy worse.”
This weekend, McConnell also lashed out at Senate Democrats for their failure to pass a budget over the past few years as well as their plan this year to forgo a vote on their own plan.
“I offered President Obama’s budget since the Democrats didn’t seem to want to develop their own budget and didn’t want to vote for his. His budget was defeated 97 to nothing,” McConnell said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
“I intend to offer the president’s budget for him so he’ll have a chance to get a vote on it,” McConnell added.