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Begich Urges Lawmakers to Work on Deficit Reduction Without Derailing the Economy

Will fight to protect key Alaska programs, investments

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today released the following statement in response to House Speaker John Boehner’s proposal to slash government investments by $4 billion over two weeks:

“I have repeatedly said that we must crack down on wasteful spending and get our deficit under control. However, we cannot jeopardize our long-term economic growth with reckless cuts and political ploys. The recent proposal from the House Republicans is not a practical approach to reducing the size of government or investing in our economy, but merely a two-week stopgap that puts critical funding for education, public safety, and other investments in our future on the chopping block.

“This is common sense – no business would operate this way and we shouldn’t either. I am pleased that we have already begun making tough choices and cutting $41 billion from the 2010 budget, but we cannot stop there. If we all share the goal of long-term stability, then I hope Republicans and Democrats will work together so we can reach an agreement that not only reduces our deficit but puts us on the path for economic success.”

Begich said the House budget cuts will directly impact Alaska cutting millions of dollars from a number of areas including education, health and human services, job training, port security grants and housing. Some of the cuts for Alaska proposed by the House include:

· Pell Grants                                                      $5,400,000

· Head Start Funding                                        $1,869,000

· Community Health Center Funding               $2,452,329

· Clean Water State Revolving Fund                $8,392,448

· State Homeland Security Grants                    $   791,200

· WIA Dislocated Worker Activities                $2,187,095

· Port of Anchorage Grants                               $    813,673

· Alaska Railroad Grants                                   $    208,023

· Community Development Block Grants        $3,223,289

· Native American Block Grant                        $3,101,824

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