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Letter to the Senate: on Democratic Budget for FY 2014

March 21, 2013

Dear Senator: 

On behalf of the more than three million members of the National Education Association, we urge you to vote YES on S. Con. Res. 8, the Democratic budget resolution for fiscal year 2014. We also would like to offer our views on several expected or potential amendments. Votes associated with this issue may be included in the NEA Legislative Report Card for the 113th Congress. 

Specifically, we urge you to:

  • Vote YES on S. Con. Res. 8, the budget presented by Chairman Murray.  
  • Vote YES on an amendment to incorporate the Marketplace Fairness Act in the budget resolution.
  • Vote YES on an amendment to establish an Office of Rural Education Policy within the Department of Education.
  • 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 new revenue below the $975 billion in the Chairman’s mark.
  • Vote NO on any amendment to establish a private school voucher program.
  • Vote NO on any amendment to require a constitutional balanced budget amendment, which constitutes unwise economic policy because it would make recessions longer and deeper, and would necessitate irresponsible cuts to the same discretionary programs already being slashed, like education.

The Democratic 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 In particular, we are pleased that the devastating spending cuts the sequester makes in coming years have been replaced by a balanced approach that includes $975 billion in new revenue obtained by closing corporate and individual tax loopholes.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.  

In stark contrast to the Ryan budget, 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.  

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

Sincerely,  

Mary Kusler
Director, Government Relations