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Colorado leaders weigh in on Obama’s 2012 budget


President Obama today released his proposed budget, calling for investment in infrastructure and education but also pledging massive cuts over the next decade.

Congressman Jared Polis’s statement on the budget:

“I applaud President Obama’s budget which goes to great lengths to reduce the deficit, while also placing a high priority on investing in education. By including new investments in innovative, outcome-oriented programs that build on the “Race to the Top” model and keeping the maximum Pell Grant at $5,550, his budget helps prepare students for the jobs of the future. It also expands resources for great teachers and charter schools, with which Colorado has seen great success at the state level. Building an excellent public education system that provides each and every child the opportunity to succeed is the single greatest investment we can make to secure our nation’s future, and in doing so, this budget lays out a blueprint to create jobs, grow our economy, strengthen innovation, and keep America competitive.”

Video of the president’s remarks:

For a complete transcript of the president’s remarks, click here.

Video of Jack Lew, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, explaining how the budget will both reduce the deficit and grow the economy:

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet is part of bipartisan group of senators led by Mark Warner (D-VA) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) calling for the Senate to debate and take an up-or-down vote on the Fiscal Commission’s recommendations. In addition to pushing for debate on the Fiscal Commission’s recommendations, Bennet has proposed a bill for statutory PAYGO, is a cosponsor of a bill to provide the President with a line-item-veto and voted in favor of a Congressional ban on earmarks.

He released this statement:

“Although the President takes steps to rein in spending and reduce the deficit, the budget we pass should contain a comprehensive approach that builds upon the work of the Fiscal Commission.

“As this process moves forward, I will continue to work with my colleagues to bring the Fiscal Commission’s proposal to the Senate floor for debate. I remain committed to working with anyone, Democrat or Republican, to ensure our nation has a sustainable and secure economic future.”

U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter released the following statement:

“The bottom line is the biggest thing we can do to move forward toward economic stability and reducing our deficit, is to get people back to work, and that is my number one priority.

The President’s blueprint maintains some important investments which will help the 7th Congressional District and the state of Colorado maintain and create jobs. However, it also reminds us we got into this budget mess because we prosecuted two wars without paying for them and gave budget-busting tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires.

Some of the priorities that are maintained which will help put people in the 7th CD back to work are:

· Funding for completion of the new VA Hospital in Aurora. I will continue to fight to ensure this funding is maintained so we can fulfill the promise we made to those who served and defended our nation.

· Continued support for research and development of energy efficiency and renewable energy programs led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden. As we recover from the recession and oil prices continue to rise, this is a critical investment we have to make for job growth here in the United States and for our energy security and independence.”

· Continued funding for the Orion space capsule project which means approximately 4,000 jobs here in Colorado working with Lockheed Martin.

Furthermore, the President offered reductions to the debt by cutting unnecessary and duplicative programs on items like the F-35 alternate engine, the Marine Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, and additional C-17 cargo aircraft.

This budget reduces domestic spending levels to their lowest levels since the Eisenhower Administration and is a major step forward toward getting our fiscal house in order. We have a long road to go to responsibly balance the budget, but this plan is a vast improvement over irresponsible proposals by House Republicans to remove cops from our communities and slash investments to important energy programs.

To move our country forward and ensure long-term economic stability, security and sustained job growth here in our country, we have to both cut our spending and reduce our debt, as well as make the critical necessary investments in education for our children and rebuilding our aging transportation and energy infrastructure.”

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