Larsen Cheers Investments In Jobs, Education In President’s Budget

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, issued the following statement after the President released his budget proposal for FY2017. Larsen said the President’s budget contains many positive investments that will create more good-paying jobs, access to skills training, financial security and opportunity for communities in Northwest Washington.

“The budget the President announced today makes forward-thinking investments in a strong economic foundation that puts jobs and opportunity first.

“The administration’s commitment to creating jobs by supporting our small businesses through the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program is great news. Small manufacturers in the Pacific Northwest and across the country are working hard every day to expand into to new markets and get their products into the hands of consumers worldwide. STEP gives them the tools to grow and expand abroad, creating jobs here at home.  

“I want our students to have a clear path to good-paying jobs through access to more skills training. I am pleased that President Obama shares my vision and has included $2 billion in his 2017 budget proposal for an Apprenticeship Training Fund that would double the number of U.S. apprenticeships.

“People should be able to get skills training without burdensome student debt so they can focus on their futures. Pell Grants help make education affordable for thousands of students in my district, and I am glad to see the President’s budget expanding these grants so students can use them for summer classes.

“Our national budget is a statement of our values and what matters to our communities, and the President’s proposal moves our country in the right direction,” Larsen said.

Earlier today, Larsen praised the administration’s inclusion in the budget of $4.6 million for a new fisheries research station in Mukilteo.

 Highlights of the President’s FY2017 Budget Proposal

More Jobs

  • State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program: $15 million. The STEP program helps small businesses trying to overcome hurdles to exporting. Larsen and Rep. Dave Reichert, WA-08, introduced a bill to reauthorize STEP. Larsen has pushed each year for funding for the program.
  • International Trade Administration: $521 million. Includes $20 million for SelectUSA, to recruit foreign businesses to invest in the U.S. and create jobs here. Other funding will support stronger enforcement for trade agreements, a priority for Larsen.
  • Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership: $141 million. Helps small and medium-sized manufacturers access new technology to improve their competitiveness.
  • TIGER Grants: $1.25 billion over 10 years to help states build up their roads, bridges, highways and transit.
  • Transit: $10 billion. Invests in the Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts, Small Starts and Transit formula grants.
  • NextGen: $1billion. NextGen is a satellite-based air traffic control system that the Federal Aviation Administration is in the process of implementing. As Ranking Member on the Aviation Subcommittee, Larsen has long worked to keep NextGen moving forward.
  • Green Climate Fund: $750 million in funding for the Departments of State and Treasury to carry out commitments the U.S. made as part of the climate treaty reached in Paris.
  • Icebreakers: $150 million for design of new icebreakers. Larsen has long called for the U.S. to better live up to its responsibilities as an Arctic nation, including building more icebreakers.

More Education & Skills Training

  • Apprenticeship Training Fund: $2 billion. Doubles the number of apprenticeships across the U.S.
  • Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act: $3 billion. Competitive grants for regional partnerships to bring together employers, education and training providers and workforce boards to train 500,000 people in high-demand fields.

More Financial Security

  • Pell Grants: $30.1 billion. Enables students to use Pell Grants for courses year-round. Increases the maximum Pell Grant by $300, to $6,235. Indexes future Pell Grant awards to inflation.
  • Simplifying the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): Starting in October, students will be able to submit their FAFSA forms three months earlier so they can have a better understanding of their financial responsibility for college before they actually apply.
  • Unemployment Insurance: Requires states to provide at least 26 weeks of benefits. Establishes a wage insurance program for workers with at least three years of job tenure who lose their jobs and take a lower-paying job that pays less than $50,000 per year

More Opportunity

  • Paid Leave Partnership Initiative: $2 billion. Funds will help up to five states launch paid family leave programs.
  • Wages and working conditions: $277 million to enforce laws that establish the minimum standards for wages and working conditions in many workplaces in the U.S.
  • Treatment for opioid addiction epidemic: $1 billion to help states expand treatment for addiction. $500 million to help states expand overdose prevention strategies.
  • Preventing Hunger: Full funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.
  • HUD-VASH: $496 million to assist veterans struggling with homelessness.
  • Veterans health care: $65 billion to provide veterans with medical care, including $7.8 billion for mental health care.
  • Veterans disability claims: $54 million. Funds will pay for 300 additional staff to process claims.