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Letter to the Senate Budget Committee on the FY 2014 Budget

March 13, 2013

Dear Senator: 

On behalf of the more than three million members of the National Education Association, we strongly urge you to support the FY 2014 budget introduced by Chairwoman Murray that will be marked-up in committee tomorrow. Actions in committee on this issue may be included in the NEA Legislative Report Card for the 113th Congress.  

The proposed budget is responsible, balanced, and reflects the values that make our nation strong: investing in people, jobs, and education as the path to prosperity. In particular, we are pleased that the devastating spending cuts the sequester makes in coming years have been replaced by a balanced approach that includes $975 billion in new revenue obtained by closing corporate and individual tax loopholes. We are also pleased that the budget dedicates $100 billion to job training and infrastructure projects, including school modernization and construction—investments that will help our economic recovery gather steam, put more Americans back to work, and equip students with the tools they need to succeed in school and in life.   

A stark contrast to the Ryan budget proposed earlier this week, the Democratic budget takes steps to support our students and schools, protects the bipartisan expansion of Medicaid at the federal and state levels, and rejects shifting Medicare costs to seniors. The Ryan budget would continue and deepen the sequester’s draconian cuts to critical investments like education, slash Medicaid, and dismantle Medicare. 

Although we support the sensible Democratic budget, we also have serious reservations about the potential for additional cuts in non-defense discretionary programs down the road. Spending on domestic discretionary programs is already at its lowest level as a percentage of the economy since the 1960s.  

Ahead of tomorrow’s expected votes, we urge you to:

  • Vote NO on any amendment that would make further cuts in non-defense discretionary programs.
  • Vote NO on any amendment that would cut Medicaid, Medicare, or Social Security benefits.
  • Vote NO on any amendment that would reduce the revenue called for in the Chairman’s mark.  

It is time to put politics aside, do what is right for our nation, and take the balanced approach to tackling long-term fiscal challenges and accelerating the growth of our economy. The budget proposed by Chairman Murray is a good start. We urge you to support it.  

Sincerely,  

Mary Kusler
Director, Government Relations