For Immediate Release: February 01, 2010

President's Budget Proposal Includes Critical Investments in Programs That Affect Low-Income People

Following is a statement by Alan W. Houseman, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), regarding President Obama's FY2011 budget proposal.

"The president's budget recognizes that a key to shared, long-term economic prosperity is investing in programs that provide low-income people with the supports and tools they need to move out of poverty.  Long-term solutions to rising economic insecurity and the jobs crisis require investments in education, worker supports, and workforce programs that provide people with a foundation to move out of poverty and join the middle class.

"This proposed budget builds on last year's recovery act and is a good step toward meeting the country's economic needs. But the investments already enacted and proposed here must be sustained and increased.  It would be a tragedy if the freeze on domestic discretionary funding results in reductions after 2011 in programs that work to improve the lives of low-income Americans."

The budget includes: a dramatic increase in funding for child care and early education programs; funding to help more Americans gain postsecondary credentials; and extended funding for several American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provisions that reach those most affected by the recession, including the TANF Emergency Fund.  Congress should pass legislation to implement these provisions as soon as possible.

The budget also calls for creating innovation funds in the areas of adult and youth workforce and education programs, comprehensive responsible fatherhood, and services for custodial parents with serious barriers to self-sufficiency.  These provide opportunities to create, encourage and learn about promising new strategies.  However, innovation and other new funding do not substitute for essential investments needed to make up for a decade of underinvestment in effective programs for low-income children, youth and families.

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