Policy Priorities

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BUDGET WATCH: THIS WEEK...

June 29, 2011

President Obama Gets Involved with Budget Negotiations; Chooses Children Over Corporate Jets

Today, President Obama challenged Congressional leadership to make the “responsible” decision in a press conference and said, “If we choose to keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, choose to keep a tax break for corporate jet owners, oil and gas companies making billions of dollars, then that means we have to cut some kids off from getting a college scholarship.” Read a full transcript of the President’s remarks.

Earlier this week President Obama met with the top negotiators of both parties in hopes of moving towards an agreement before the date by which the U.S. government would default on its bills (after midnight, August 2nd).

Last week, budget negotiations led by Vice President Biden broke down when Representative Eric Cantor (R-Va.), walked away from the discussions, followed by Sen. John Kyle (R-Ariz.), citing disagreement on including tax increases as part of the final package. Up until this point, both Democrats and Republicans had indicated the previous seven weeks of talks had been fruitful. Disagreement between the negotiators center around the Democrats’ position in favor of repealing tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and corporations and closing corporate loopholes in addition to spending cuts, and the Republican’s insistence on taking all tax increases – even for the wealthiest Americans – off the table.

CDF is seeking a budget agreement that will protect children from all budget cuts, invest in children to strengthen the nation’s economic future, and ensure that the richest individuals and corporations contribute their fair share. This week, CDF President Marian Wright Edelman joined with the leaders of prominent national religious, civil rights, charitable, economic research, and low-income advocacy organizations to call on Executive and Congressional leadership to honor the precedent set by previous negotiations that have reduced the deficit without increasing poverty.

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