(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash) released the following statement on Presidents Obama’s fiscal year 2011 budget request to Congress. Murray is the second-ranking Democrat on the Senate Budget Committee and a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“As we begin to examine the President’s budget it is important to remember the fiscal and economic conditions this administration inherited just one year ago, and the work we have done to bring our economy back from the brink and get workers back on the job.

“When President Obama took the oath of office we were losing 700,000 jobs a month, our economy was shrinking rapidly, and our national debt had ballooned to over $12 trillion after two wars that were paid for off-budget and tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

“Since that time we have begun the hard work of turning our economy around and creating jobs for the millions of workers who need them. We have much more work to do on this front, and this budget is an important part of making sure it continues.

“Over the next few days I will be carefully examining the details of this budget and its implications for Washington state families. As we move forward in the budget process I am committed to fighting for Washington state priorities like getting workers back on the job, education, and health care.

“We need to continue investing in priorities that will make our country strong and competitive in the 21st century economy—like health care, transportation, and infrastructure. We also must never turn our backs on the promises we made to our veterans, or our legal and moral obligation to Hanford cleanup. And in these tough economic times we need to continue to fight for middle class tax cuts, like those we put in place last year.

“We also must set our sights on reducing the deficit and paying down the national debt over time. I don’t want to leave a mountain of government debt for our grandchildren, but I also don’t want them to inherit crumbling infrastructure, an inadequate education system, or a broken health care system. I applaud the President on paying for our country’s wars in a transparent way and avoiding budget gimmicks we have seen in the past.

“A budget is a statement of values and priorities, and I plan on working over the next few months with the administration and my colleagues in Congress to ensure that the voices of Washington state families and small business owners are heard loud and clear as we finalize the 2011 budget.”