The President unveiled his 2013 budget plan today, and the details and priorities are very interesting, to say the least.
President Barack Obama would almost double spending on the U.S. infrastructure over the next six years and would pour $350 billion into a jobs plan while shrinking the budgets of most other domestic agencies.
The blueprint for the fiscal 2013 budget released today would spend $476 billion through 2018 on highway, bridge and mass transit projects, funded in part by winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It cuts some energy programs, farm subsidies and federal workers’ retirement plans, while bulking up the Securities and Exchange Commission and creating a new panel to investigate unfair foreign trade practices.
Investing in the nation’s transportation grid is a fresh attempt to create jobs for a president facing re-election this year amid voter concern about the economy and unemployment at 8.3 percent in January. In addition to gasoline tax revenue, transportation spending would come from a $38.5 billion-a-year transfer from the fund that now goes to war spending.
“Most Americans understand that a crumbling infrastructure is not the way to build an economy that can last,” White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program. “We need to make sure we have a manufacturing base in this country” and workers with appropriate skills, said Lew, the former White House budget director.
Obama’s proposals for discretionary spending must adhere to August’s Budget Control Act, which imposed spending caps that the administration estimates will generate about $1 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade.
Less bombs, more bridges. Makes sense to me.
With a Republican-controlled House of Representatives, the document has little chance of becoming law. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said “no,” when asked yesterday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” if Obama’s budget had any change of passage in that chamber.
Please note that this was technically saying no the day before the plan came out. We need MOAR CRAZY HOSTAGE TAKING if we’re going to have a real budget. Issue one is the GOP most likely attaching the Blount Amendment to exempt all employers from covering any icky woman part maintenance things in insurance to the payroll tax cut extension sometime this week.
Won’t that be a fun fight. Republicans pitting workers vs. women and expecting to win, either, or, or both.
[UPDATE] I stand humbly corrected on the GOP attaching the Blount Amendment to the payroll tax cut, as Orange Julius folded his cards and now wants a clean extension for the rest of the year. What the Blount Amendment will now get attached to, I don’t know. It can’t possibly pass a stand-alone vote.