President Bushs Budget and The District of Columbia
The Presidents 2008 Budget continues the focus on pro-growth policies that have helped fuel our Nations strong economic expansion. The Presidents tax relief helped generate increased economic activity that resulted in strong job creation and record tax receipts in the last two years, even in the face of historic challenges the 2001 recession, corporate scandals, 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina. Our robust and resilient economy, coupled with disciplined spending restraint, has helped cut the deficit in half three years ahead of schedule and put the budget on a path to balance by 2012.
While working with Congress to successfully reduce the growth in non-security discretionary spending, the President continues to invest in the Nations prosperity and security. To keep the economy vibrant, the Budget makes tax relief permanent, and proposes pro-growth policies to improve education, health care, and energy security.
The FY08 Budget also takes steps to improve the budget process, including proposals such as comprehensive earmark reform and a legislative line item veto. Lastly, to tackle the unsustainable growth of entitlement programs, the biggest long-term budget challenge, the Budget will make sensible steps toward reforming these vital entitlement programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, to ensure they are sustainable in the long-term.
Focusing On National Priorities
The 2008 Budget makes necessary investments in the Global War on Terror and homeland security, as well as addresses three key issues that are on the minds of many Americans: the quality and cost of their childrens education, rising health care costs, and our Nations dependence on foreign sources of energy from unstable parts of the world.
Fighting the War on Terror. The 2008 Budget invests substantial resources to maintain the high level of military readiness for the Department of Defense and provides resources to continue its transformation to meet new threats in the 21st century. It also provides additional resources dedicated to strengthening democratic institutions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and beyond, by promoting economic opportunity, and improving self-sufficiency while also building the capacity of our allies to contribute to this effort through key anti-terrorism and security assistance initiatives.
Defending the Homeland. The Budget invests in homeland security and terrorism prevention through increased funding for nuclear detection, more secure borders, high-tech screening capabilities, and forging a closer partnership with local and State law enforcement. These essential initiatives are working to protect our national security.
Ensuring our Childrens Success. No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is already working to ensure all students perform at or above grade level in reading and math by 2014. The 2008 Budget builds on the successes of NCLB to better prepare our students for college or the workplace by providing significant new resources and other reforms that will result in more progress. It also offers new school choice options so children in low-performing schools have a chance to attend a school where they can learn and succeed. To help low-income families afford college, the 2008 Budget increases the Pell Grants maximum award from the current level of $4,050 to $4,600 in 2008, and to $5,400 over the next five years. It also increases the Academic Competitiveness Grants maximum awards for freshman and sophomores.
Reducing Health Care Costs and Improving Access. The 2008 Budget also improves Americans access to affordable health care by changing the tax treatment of health care to provide individuals resources to access more affordable health care, allowing small businesses and civic and community groups to pool together to leverage their bargaining power, and reducing frivolous lawsuits that increase patients costs.
Increasing our Energy Security. The Budget includes a number of proposals to increase our energy security while improving our environment. Specifically, the President is proposing to increase the current standards for alternative fuels use and for fuel economy in order to cut, by 2017, our domestic gasoline consumption by 20 percent and substantially reduce vehicle air pollution and CO2 emissions compared to projections. The Budget also continues the Advanced Energy Initiative to improve the reliability of energy supplies to American families and businesses. To insure against major supply disruptions that could harm our economy, the Budget proposes to double the protection provided by the Strategic Petroleum Reserve by expanding the reserve to 1.5 billion barrels.
Budget Items of Interest to Washington, D.C.
in Title I Education Grants to help the District of
Columbia devote new funds to reform high
schools by improving students college readiness while also increasing
funding to elementary schools. This funding is an 8.5 percent
increase over 2007.
for the School Breakfast Program in the District of
Columbia to help local non-profit programs
provide affordable and healthy breakfasts to [K-12] students for increased
childhood wellness and fitness. This funding is a 6.64 percent
increase over 2007.
in State Childrens Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) funds to help the District of
Columbia provide health coverage to low-income,
uninsured children who do not qualify for Medicaid.
million for museums and cultural institutions such as the
Smithsonian Institution, National Gallery of Art, U.S. Holocaust Memorial
Museum, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
This funding is an increase of $18 million.
$318.9 million for the construction of
a Coast Guard consolidated facility to facilitate a DHS consolidation and
development of St. Elizabeths West Campus.
$12.8 million to accommodate the
relocation of the Joint Operations Center.
$190 million for the
D.C. Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, an $8 million
increase over 2007.
to support the District's forensic laboratory needs. This request
includes $10 million to share in the construction costs of a new
consolidated lab facility, and $5 million to reimburse the Federal Bureau
of Investigations (FBI) for services provided to address the District's large
DNA case backlog.
$12 million for the
D.C. Water and Sewer Authority, a $5 million increase over 2007. This
funding level would allow the District to continue to address the Combined
Sewer Overflow project.
$214 million for the
D.C. Courts, a $17 million increase over 2007. This funding level will
allow the Courts to address their severe personnel shortage in mission
critical positions, as well as continue the renovation of their
$35 million for the
D.C. Resident Tuition Assistance program. This program equalizes
postsecondary education opportunities for students from D.C.
by enabling them to attend public colleges nationwide at
in-state tuition rates.
$15 million for D.C.
School Choice, a program that provides parents more options for obtaining
a quality education for their children who are enrolled in
$26 million to improve
public school facilities in the District.
$33 million for the
Public Defender Service to provide legal representation services for
to continue support for the rehabilitation and renovation
of District libraries.
President Bushs Budget Also Includes:
Up to $3
billion over 10 years in new Federal and private spending for the
Presidents National Park Centennial Commitment and Challenge that will achieve
new levels of excellence in our parks. These funds will complete signature
projects in parks; hire 3,000 more seasonal national park rangers, guides
and maintenance workers; repair buildings; improve landscapes; and enroll
more children in Junior/Web Ranger programs.