WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Budget Committee, today praised President Obama’s fiscal year 2013 budget proposal, saying it showed it was possible to responsibly reduce our nation’s dangerous deficits while protecting investments in areas critical to America’s long-term competitiveness. President Obama’s budget proposal calls for $3 trillion in savings over the next 10 years while still investing in critical priorities, like research and development, education, and infrastructure.
“President Obama’s budget proposal shows that we can reduce our deficits in a way that shares in the sacrifice, but protects the investments that will keep America strong in the global economy,” Senator Coons said.
“The question now is, what will Congress do to move forward with policies that strike the same kind of balance? I share the frustration of many Delawareans who believe it shouldn’t be unreasonable to expect both parties to work together on legislation that will help our economy recover and strengthen our nation’s future.”
Among the highlights, the President’s budget proposal:
• Provides tax incentives for manufacturers who create jobs here at home and doubles the deduction for advanced manufacturing; ends tax deductions for shipping jobs overseas.
• Expands and makes permanent the Research & Development Tax Credit. Senator Coons has twice introduced legislation to strengthen the R&D tax credit. (http://bit.ly/yEAfgm)
• Rewards colleges that stay affordable and provide good value with a Race to the Top: College Affordability and Completion program that will drive reforms to help boost quality, productivity, and degree completion.
• Strengthens the efforts at five international trade-related agencies to promote and enforce international trade, and meet the goals of the National Export Initiative. It also promotes U.S. exports and export-related jobs by providing $517 million for the International Trade Administration to better promote American exports in key markets abroad and improve trade enforcement.
• Empowers the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to further improve our patent system by granting the agency full access to its fee collections and funding reforms authorized by the America Invents Act. Senator Coons was a cosponsor of the America Invents Act. (http://bit.ly/wL4V2v)
• Extends the 1603 Treasury grant program and the 48c manufacturing tax credit to support private-sector investments in clean energy technology. Senator Coons introduced legislation (S. 825) last year to extend both. (http://bit.ly/wHDhz0)
• Establishes a National Infrastructure Bank that would issue loans and loan guarantees for transportation, water, and energy infrastructure projects. Senator Coons cosponsored a bill last year to create such a bank, and spoke about it on the floor in November. (http://bit.ly/z7dhUn)
• Increases the level of investment in non-defense R&D by 5 percent from the 2012 level, even as overall agency budgets decline.
• Maintains the President’s commitment to double the budgets of three key basic research agencies: National Science Foundation, Department of Energy’s Office of Science, and National Institute of Standards and Technology Laboratories
• Expands funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy for transformational, high-risk, high-payoff energy technology projects. Senator Coons will speak at the ARPA-E Innovation Summit in Washington on February 27.
• Increases investment in law enforcement efforts to protect American intellectual property rights from $5 million to $40 million.
• Extends 100 percent first-year depreciation of machinery and equipment for American businesses. Senator Coons introduced legislation (S. 1866) last year to extend it. (http://bit.ly/yLsQRa)
• Increases funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. Senator Coons is a strong supporter of energy efficiency programs. (http://bit.ly/zq13ir)
• Assists workers who need to take time off to care for a child or other family member by helping states launch paid leave programs.
• Continues a multi-year plan to make strategic investments to address the root causes of hunger and poverty and to help prevent crises such as the 2011 famine in the Horn of Africa.
“It is fitting that President Obama unveiled his budget at a community college this morning, because access to affordable higher education is essential for the next generation of American workers,” Senator Coons said.
“If we are to compete and succeed in the global economy, we have to invest now in the training and education required for highly skilled, good quality jobs. If we have the right workforce, we can revitalize American manufacturing so products are made in America and manufactured in Delaware.”