Top Reasons to Support the Democratic Budget Alternative
1. Promotes Economic Growth and Opportunity – The Democratic budget's top priority is helping people to make it in America: creating more jobs now and making investments that will lead to long-term economic growth.
- Infrastructure – The budget funds the President's four-year, $302 billion surface transportation reauthorization proposal that will protect 700,000 jobs while helping to repair and modernize the nation's roads, bridges, railways and transit systems.
- Education – Funding education is one of the best investments we can make, both for the students themselves and for the economy. The Democratic budget provides $76 billion over ten years for an early childhood education initiative and maintains funding for current education programs.
- Scientific R&D and innovation – The Democratic budget provides robust funding to promote scientific jobs and biomedical research, innovation in U.S. manufacturing, information technology, energy, aeronautics and space exploration, and climate change science.
- Supports immigration reform – The Democratic resolution includes spending and revenue levels that accommodate adoption of H.R. 15 – the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act – and emphasizes the need for a vote on comprehensive immigration reform. Adopting H.R. 15 provides an immediate boost to our economy and lowers our deficits by $900 billion over the next two decades.
- Extends Emergency Unemployment Compensation – The resolution provides funding to extend Emergency Unemployment Compensation for one year, saving 200,000 jobs this year.
- Supports pay equity – The budget supports raising the minimum wage, economic equality, and women's empowerment.
- Veterans – Extends advance appropriations to all discretionary programs administered by VA to protect critical veterans' programs against a government shutdown, restores the Republican's $1.7 billion cut to the President's budget for veterans programs for 2016, and adopts the President's $1 billion Veterans Job Corps initiative.
2. Tax Reform that Supports and Grows the Middle Class
- Extends tax credits from the American Taxpayer Relief Act due to expire after 2017 – These include an increase in refundability of the child tax credit, relief for married earned income tax credit filers, the American Opportunity Tax Credit, and a larger Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for larger families.
- Expands the EITC for childless workers – In addition to extending the EITC for childless workers, the resolution supports further deficit-neutral tax relief for individuals and families, and opposes the Republican budget's plan to lower the top individual income tax rate for millionaires to 25 percent while raising taxes on middle-class families.
3. Keeps our Commitments to Seniors
- Preserves Medicare – The budget rejects the Republican attempt to end Medicare as we know it, and reinforces the Affordable Care Act reforms that strengthen Medicare and improve benefits. It eliminates the mandatory sequester, protecting Medicare from sequester cuts.
- Protects Medicaid –The Democratic budget protects Medicaid for senior citizens who rely on the program for health and long-term care services. Medicaid is an important safety net for middle-class seniors; one in five Medicare beneficiaries gets help from Medicaid for out-of-pocket expenses or long-term care costs. Medicaid is the largest payer for long-term care services in the country, and more than 60 percent of nursing home residents rely on Medicaid for help paying their bill.
4. Protects the Social Safety Net and Access to Health Care
- Preserves the social safety net – The Democratic budget supports vital programs that serve low-income families, such as maintaining funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and increasing funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to support the 8.7 million individuals expected to participate. The budget endorses development of a national strategy to eliminate poverty, highlighting the important role that government plays in reducing poverty and noting that more than 40 million people are not living in poverty today because of these efforts. In contrast, the Republican budget increases the risk of hunger by cutting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by $137 billion over ten years.
- Preserves access to health insurance – The Democratic budget supports ongoing implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which ensures the right to equal treatment regardless of gender or health status. The law slows growth in national health expenditures and shrinks the deficit by approximately $100 billion in the first ten years and by more than a trillion dollars in the second decade. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projects that 25 million Americans will gain health insurance under the law this decade and millions of Americans have already signed up for affordable coverage under the law. The Democratic budget also protects the Medicaid program, which improves the health of its 60 million enrollees, including one out of every three children in the country. The budget supports the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, roughly half of the uninsured have incomes below the expanded Medicaid eligibility limit, and many of these individuals have mental health needs.