WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) today issued the following statement in response to the release of President Obama’s proposed Fiscal Year 2016 budget:

“The President’s budget blueprint contains quite a bit of good news for Rhode Island that could bolster our economic prospects.  No budget is perfect, but the President has proposed some smart investments in education, infrastructure, innovation, and workforce development that could lead to accelerated job creation, higher wages, and greater economic prosperity for all.  It’s a budget geared toward helping the middle-class by closing tax loopholes for special interests and the wealthiest Americans.”

As the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, Reed noted that the President’s budget would allocate about $38 billion more for U.S. Department of Defense spending than called for under the across-the-board spending caps known as sequestration.

“The President’s budget reverses sequestration, both in terms of defense and domestic priorities, in a fair and balanced way that will better protect the American people and strengthen our economy,” said Reed.  “We face a number of threats around the globe.  A failure to address sequestration and adequately fund national priorities could hinder the military’s ability to carry outs its missions around the globe and weaken our economy.”

A member of the Appropriations Committee, and the top Democrat on the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) Subcommittee, Reed also noted: “Critical federal transportation funding is on track to run dry by the end of May.  Congress needs to work together on bipartisan solutions to refill the highway trust fund and build for our long-term future.  The President’s budget would significantly boost funding for competitive TIGER grants, from $500 million last year to $1.25 billion annually.  Rhode Island has successfully competed for and won TIGER funds to pay for a variety of transportation infrastructure upgrades around the state.”

“Now that the President has laid out his agenda and a budget blueprint, it is time for Congress to craft legislation.  While some in Washington may reflexively oppose anything that comes out of the White House, I hope we can find bipartisan breakthroughs to grow our economy and strengthen the middle-class,” concluded Reed.