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President’s Budget Reflects Commitment to Those in Need

Pelavin: “As Americans and as Jews, we view the budget as a moral document, with particular concern for its impact on our nation’s most vulnerable populations.”

Contact: Kate Bigam or Micaela Hellman-Tincher
202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

Washington DC May 7, 2009 — In response to President Barack Obama’s release of his detailed Fiscal Year 2010 budget, Mark Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

The allocation of our government’s financial resources is a reflection of our nation’s values, and we welcome the support in the President’s FY10 budget for programs that lift up communities in need, protect our environment, and establish a firm commitment to health care reform. Clearly, the budget is a massive document, and it will take some time to give it the thorough review necessary; nevertheless, we offer these preliminary reactions.

Among the budget’s provisions, we are particularly encouraged by the inclusion of the first-ever funding for the National Housing Trust Fund to address the chronic shortage of affordable housing in our country. We also strongly support the inclusion of funding for international adaptation programs to help the poorest and most vulnerable communities around the world adapt to the effects of climate change. Protecting those populations who will be hit first and hardest by the climate crisis must remain a priority and a responsibility for our nation.

Health care reform continues to be a central priority for the Reform Movement and the nation broadly, and we are pleased that this budget reflects the Administration’s continued commitment to such reform.

Although we share the President’s determination to improve the education and well-being of our nation’s youth, we are disappointed by the extension of funding for the Washington D.C. private school vouchers pilot program. Vouchers detract from efforts to address underlying failures in our public school system and raise significant constitutional concerns about the spending of public tax dollars on sectarian education.

As Americans and as Jews, we view the budget as a moral document, with particular concern for its impact on our nation’s most vulnerable populations. In this time of great challenge, the President’s budget invests in a more just future for our nation and our world.

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1,800 Reform rabbis.



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