Congressman Tim Ryan Statement on President Obama’s FY2017 Budget

Feb 9, 2016 Issues: Helping Working Families

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan responded today to the President’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget:

Under President Obama’s leadership we’ve created 14 million new jobs, brought unemployment below 5 percent for the first time in 8 years, and expanded healthcare coverage to over 18  million Americans.  While much progress has been made, we must keep our eye on the future.  The President’s Budget demonstrates that he is committed to investing in a future where all Americans have a fair shot at economic prosperity, a clean environment, and a safe and secure world to raise our families.

I would like to begin by applauding President Obama on his commitment to clean energy and American manufacturing by increasing clean energy research and development by 20 percent.  This will be a huge windfall not only for our environment, but also for our economy in Ohio and across the country.  Clean energy growth means an expansion in manufacturing, installation, maintenance, and a whole host of other fields.  As the industry grows, it snowballs: lowering the cost of energy for everyone and creating even more jobs.

Being from Northeast Ohio, we know that manufacturing is the backbone and the lifeblood of the American economy.  The President recognizes this and with this Budget he doubles-down on his promise to revitalize American manufacturing.  In response to the success seen at Youngstown’s America Makes, he invests more than $250 million to create and sustain manufacturing innovation institutes.  Further, the Budget increases research and development funding, expands workforce training, and provides additional resources to help small manufacturers access the technology and expertise they need to expand their businesses.

Every child born in this country should have the same opportunity to succeed; that’s the American Dream.  I’m proud that the President’s Budget expands access to quality child care for hard-working American families, extending coverage to more than 1.1 million additional children under the age of four by 2026.  These children cannot simply “pull themselves up by their bootstraps.”  They were born into situations by no fault of their own, and it is our responsibility as leaders and citizens of this great nation to ensure that they are not left behind.

As the Democratic Co-Chair of the Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus, I have seen firsthand the damage substance abuse inflicts upon Ohio and the United States.  Fatal drug overdoses now exceed car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in both our state and nation.  I am heartened to see the President’s Budget include $1 billion in funding over the next two years to expand access to treatment for prescription drug and heroin abuse.

Although I support the President’s Budget overall, I was disappointed to see a decrease from $300 million to $250 million in funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.  This program is critical to the health and well-being of Ohioans by targeting harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie.  I will use my position on the House Appropriations Committee to fight for full and adequate funding of this important program.

Lastly, I look forward to working in the Appropriation Committee to pass common-sense reforms regarding cancer research, computer science education, and school nutrition funding.