Late Friday night, President Obama announced that Democrats and Republicans had reached a deal to keep the federal government open for business.Because of this agreement, small businesses can receive the loans they need to hire and expand, families can receive financing for the purchase of a new home, and nearly a million civil servants will be paid on time for their service to our country – including our men and women in uniform. The agreement required compromises, but the result will help to trim wasteful spending while making investments that spur economic growth, a necessary balance for America to win the future.
Through these negotiations, Democrats were able to protect valuable community programs and investments in America’s future that were targeted by the extreme Republican base. As White House Communications Director Dan Pfieffer noted:
We protected funding for critical programs that invest in science programs, our kids’ education, and critical health programs. We are maintaining current levels of Head Start enrollment, funding Race to the Top, including an early learning element, and have sufficient savings available to maintain the Pell Grant maximum award and the broad education reform agenda, including K-12 education. There is still robust investment to efficiently and effectively run Medicare and to implement the Affordable Care Act. Even though we will no longer double the funding of key research and development agencies, you will still see strong investments in National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Science Foundation and the Office of Science.
By insisting on these cuts, we were able to achieve savings and avoid most of the harmful proposals. We avoided deep cuts in international programs that, among other things, threaten our transition out of Iraq. We were able to avoid making than $500 million cut in lifesaving biomedical research at National Institutes of Health. We avoided terminating 60,000 children from the Head Start Program in September and fund student load to provide adequate services to student loan borrowers. We are able to implement financial reforms signed into law to prevent another financial crisis.
Despite Republican threats, President Obama and Democrats in Congress refused to be strong-armed into accepting a Republican social agenda under the guise of budget cuts. The President defied Republican attempts to defund health reform, Planned Parenthood, the establishment of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and blocked their proposal to strip the EPA of its ability to enforce standards of clean air and water.
Even though significant cuts were necessary, the President defended crucial programs that keep Americans secure and invest in our future.
Just as he did in December, cutting taxes for millions of families, President Obama brought both parties to the negotiating table and resolved their differences for the good of the country. Moving forward, it’s the President’s hope that Democrats and Republicans again can find common ground:
t’s my sincere hope that we can continue to come together as we face the many difficult challenges that lie ahead – from creating jobs and growing our economy to educating our children and reducing our long-term deficits.
That’s our responsibility. That’s what the American people expect us to do. And it’s what the American people deserve.
Click here to learn more about the budget deal reached on Friday.