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Pelavin: "As Americans and as Jews, we view the budget as a moral document, with particular concern for its impact on our nations most vulnerable populations."
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Washington DC May 7, 2009 - In response to President Barack Obamas 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 governments financial resources is a reflection of our nations values, and we welcome the support in the Presidents 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 budgets 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 Administrations continued commitment to such reform.
Although we share the Presidents determination to improve the education and well-being of our nations 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 nations most vulnerable populations. In this time of great challenge, the Presidents budget invests in a more just future for our nation and our world.