President Bush's Budget and Oregon
The President’s 2007 Budget continues the successful pro-growth policies that have encouraged robust economic growth and job creation. A strong economy, together with spending restraint, is critical to reducing the deficit. The Budget builds on last year’s successful spending restraint by again holding the growth of overall discretionary spending below inflation, proposing to reduce non-security discretionary spending below the previous year’s level, and calling for the elimination or reduction of programs not getting results or not fulfilling essential priorities. Like last year, the budget proposes savings and reforms to mandatory spending programs, whose unsustainable growth poses the real long-term danger to our fiscal health.
Focusing On National Priorities
The Budget focuses taxpayer resources on National priorities like the War on Terrorism, health care, energy research, and strengthening our global competitiveness through improved math and science education and research.
- Fighting the War on Terror. To give our troops the resources they need to fight terror and protect our Nation, the Budget increases defense spending by nearly 7 percent. This funding will maintain a high level of military readiness, develop and procure new weapon systems to ensure U.S. battlefield superiority, and support our service members and their families.
- Defending the Homeland. Government-wide, non-defense homeland security funding, including fee-funded activities, increases by more than 8 percent. The Budget also provides resources to strengthen our borders with funding for 1,500 new border patrol agents, 6,000 new detention beds, 560 detention and removal personnel, and 257 attorneys to expedite removal of illegal immigrants.
- Reducing Health Care Costs and Improving Access. The Budget makes health care more affordable and available with improvements to Health Savings Accounts, health information technology, and medical liability reform.
- Reducing our Addiction to Foreign Oil. The Advanced Energy Initiative provides a 22-percent increase in research funding for cleaner, cheaper, more reliable energy: solar, wind, nuclear, zero-emission coal, batteries for hybrid and electric cars, hydrogen, and biomass – with the goal of replacing 75 percent of oil imports from the Middle East by 2025.
- Strengthening our Competitiveness. The American Competitiveness Initiative commits $5.9 billion in FY2007, and more than $136 billion over 10 years, to increase investments in research and development, recruit new math and science teachers, encourage American innovation, and strengthen our nation’s ability to compete in the global economy.
- Promoting Compassion and Strengthening Families. The Budget continues to advance compassionate programs that are effective in addressing social concerns, including $322 million in targeted Faith-based and Community initiatives. These efforts fund the Helping America’s Youth initiative, as well as other priority programs.
Budget Items of Special Interest to Oregon
- $57.9 million in State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) funds to help Oregon provide health coverage to low-income, uninsured children who do not qualify for Medicaid. This funding is a 23 percent increase over 2006.
- $23.2 million for the HOME Investment Partnership Program to help Oregon fund a wide range of activities that build, buy, or rehabilitate affordable housing for rent or homeownership, or provide direct rental assistance to low-income people. This funding is a 12 percent increase over 2006.
- $107.6 million to begin construction on two Portland area fixed guideway transit systems. The first is an eight-mile MAX system extension parallel to Interstate 205 with a 2009 ridership forecast of over 25,000 additional weekday boardings. The second is a new 15-mile project to serve rapidly growing suburban communities west of Portland in Washington County.
- $40 million in incremental funding for a $160 million project for I-5 bridge repair, and for other improvements in the I-5 corridor.
- $39.8 million for major cities throughout the state to fund buses, railcars, and maintenance facilities essential to sustaining public transportation systems that serve their communities.
- $13 million, a $12 million increase over 2006, to continue actions to remove the Savage Rapids Dam on Oregon’s Rogue River, which will open up habitat to endangered fish while allowing local farmers to continue irrigating.
- $8.5 million to provide transportation in rural areas statewide, meeting the needs of individuals that may have no other means of transportation.
- $3.8 million improve public transportation in Oregon for the elderly, persons with disabilities, and persons with lower-incomes, providing access to job and health care facilities.
President Bush’s Budget Also Includes:
- $578 million, a $19 million increase over 2006, for salmon restoration and conservation efforts in the Columbia/Snake River Basin. This funding supports a broad interagency effort to address West Coast salmon populations, many of which are listed as threatened or endangered.
- $91 million across nine Federal agencies for ongoing efforts to create a sustainable balance between maintaining agriculture in the Klamath Basin and recovering several endangered species. This includes $3 million for removing the dilapidated Chiloquin Dam, which will open spawning habitat to endangered sucker fish.
- $67 million for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund (PCSRF). The PCSRF provides grants to State and Tribal governments to carry out salmon conservation and recovery efforts, such as habitat restoration.
- $66 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Coastal Zone Management Program, which provides grants to participating coastal states to protect, restore, and responsibly develop the Nation’s coastal communities and resources.
- $21.4 million for NOAA to implement the President’s plan to provide the United States with nearly 100 percent detection capability for a U.S. coastal tsunami. The new system will also expand monitoring capabilities throughout the Pacific and Atlantic/Caribbean basins, providing tsunami warnings for regions bordering half of the world’s oceans.
- $15 million for Water 2025, $10 million of which will be for competitive grants, and $5 million for studies to optimize operations and for research on water purification technology. This funding level represents a $10 million increase over 2006.
- $15 million to deepen the Columbia River Channel.