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President’s Budget Supports Key Investments and Fairer Taxes

But cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and job training programs must not hurt women, NWLC Says

February 13, 2012

For more information, please see our main page on the Federal budget.

This morning, President Obama released his budget for Fiscal Year 2013. The following is a statement by National Women's Law Center Co-Presidents Nancy Duff Campbell and Marcia Greenberger:

"At a time when the economic recovery is picking up steam, millions of women and men are still struggling to get back on their feet, but President Obama's budget takes the right approach overall.

"The President's budget proposes needed investments to create jobs for women and men and strengthen the economy now and for decades to come. Despite the cuts in funding for discretionary programs required by the Budget Control Act enacted in August, the President's budget generally protects funding for programs important to women and their families. The budget demonstrates the President's commitment to funding and implementing the Affordable Care Act, which will eventually extend affordable health insurance to 17 million currently uninsured women. It also includes increased funding for child care and early education, child nutrition, health services for women veterans, enforcement of civil rights and labor laws by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Wage and Hour Division, and provides incentives for states to pass through more of the child support paid on behalf of children that received public assistance to the family, rather than retaining it to reimburse welfare costs. In addition, it makes permanent improvements in tax credits for lower-income working families that were part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and increases the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit for low- and middle-income families with child care expenses. Finally, the budget takes key steps toward a tax system that would require millionaires and corporations to pay their fair share of taxes.

"However, there are some areas of particular concern to women. The budget makes substantial investments to increase manufacturing in the United States but eliminates or cuts some programs that could help ensure that these new opportunities are available to women; it eliminates the Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations program and reduces funding for the Women's Bureau in the Department of Labor. These cuts are especially troubling because women are not sharing in the recovery that has begun in the manufacturing sector. NWLC's analysis found that between 2010 and 2011, men’s annual average employment in manufacturing increased by 230,000 jobs while women’s dropped by 25,000 jobs.

"The President's proposals for Medicare and Medicaid preserve these critical programs overall. However, it is vital that proposed cuts do not shift costs to beneficiaries or states that might further reduce services, increase the financial burden on states, or drop people from the rolls altogether.

"In the face of continued high unemployment and poverty, even more should be done to create jobs, increase help for those in need, and improve tax fairness. Nevertheless, the President's budget presents a stark contrast to that advanced by Republican leaders last year and represents an important step toward a more equitable society."