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Higgins Votes to Approve Federal Budget

Apr 3, 2009
Press Release

Today, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) voted in favor of a 2010 federal budget that serves as a long term economic plan that will get our economy working again and put us on a path towards renewed prosperity. 

“The federal budget is a statement of our national priorities and this year’s commitment to healthcare, education and energy independence clearly demonstrates that America’s priorities are again in order,” said Congressman Higgins.  “I am especially please with the long overdue serious investment in cancer funding.  Cancer costs America more in one year – an estimated $300 billion in health and lost productivity – than the federal government spent to fund NIH research over the last 15 years.   By funding today’s research, tomorrow’s cures are within our reach.”

Below are highlights from the 2010 budget:

  • Cancer:  begins the doubling of funding for cancer research, an increase of $6 billion, demonstrates a new and long overdue commitment to this cause. Under the previous administration, there were $250 million in proposed cuts to the National Institutes of Health over the last five years.
  • Healthcare:  seeks to lower costs with a focus on prevention, up-to-date information technology, and national research on the effectiveness of treatments. Our nation currently spends $2.5 trillion a year on health care   Without any change, government projections estimate that by 2018, healthcare spending will rise to $4.4 trillion – more than one-fifth of the economy.
  • Energy:  increases appropriations for energy programs by 18.4 percent $1 billion above the 2009 level of regular appropriations.  It also allows for fiscally responsible legislation that will promote energy independence over the long term.
  • Education:  includes the $100 billion in education funding provided in the Recovery Act to help states maintain elementary, secondary, and higher education services. This year Congress increased the maximum Pell Grant award by $619 to a total of $5,350 – the largest annual increase in the program’s history – and created the American Opportunity Tax Credit to give eligible students a partially refundable tax credit of up to $2,500 to cover college costs.
  • Small Business & Jobs:  contains $28 billion in loan guarantees to expand credit availability for small businesses; support for $1.1 billion in direct disaster loans for businesses, homeowners and renters; eliminates capital gains on small businesses
  • Cutting Taxes:  cuts taxes for middle class families by $1.5 trillion; makes permanent the $800 "Making Work Pay" tax cut; expands the Child Tax Credit.; permanently protects millions of middle-class families from being hit by the alternative minimum tax; expands the Earned Income Tax Credit; provides for automatic enrollment in IRAs and 401(k)s; and expands the current tax credit for saving for retirement.
  • Veterans:  provides $53.3 billion in appropriated funding for veterans’ health care and other services, which is $5.5 billion (11.5 percent) more than the 2009 level.
  • Cutting the Deficit: will cut the deficit nearly two-thirds by 2013, putting the budget on a fiscally sustainable path needed for future economic strength. This is in contrast to the current deficit of well over $1 trillion inherited by this administration.

“The previous Administration left us with a national debt that is double what was when they first took office and this economy is suffering as a result,” said Higgins. “This budget begins the process of nation building right here in this country at a time of critical need.”