(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — Calling on the Congress to make life more affordable for the middle class, Democratic Senators Patty Murray, Barbara A. Mikulski, Barbara Boxer, Mary Landrieu, and Debbie Stabenow today rallied for a budget that puts ordinary Americans first.

Democrats want a fiscally responsible budget that makes middle-class American life more affordable, helping ease costs of education, for health care, and more. The president and Congressional Republicans have offered something different, putting the fundamental priorities of the two parties into stark relief with a budget that drives up the costs for ordinary Americans in order to spend billions on tax breaks for multi-millionaires.

“We’ve got work to do to make our country strong again. And we need to craft a budget that reflects our priorities and our values,” said Senator Murray who today introduced an amendment to increase funding for the Community Development Block Grant Program. “Unfortunately this budget undercuts our nation’s most basic values – like the right to safe, affordable housing. By cutting investments in the needs of middle-class Americans, this budget is neither honest nor responsible.”

"College is part of the American dream, it shouldn’t be part of the American financial nightmare. Families are looking for help and President Bush doesn’t offer them much hope," said Senator Mikulski. "The President's budget has all the wrong priorities and does nothing to ease the burden on middle class families. Belief in the American dream is shrinking - but there is a wallet deficit, not a dream deficit. Massive cuts to financial aid couldn’t come at a worse time. We can do better."

Senator Boxer said, "This Administration continues to make choices that are bad for America’s families, and no place is that clearer than in the President’s budget. Instead of taking steps to make college more affordable, this White House is making it harder for families to send their kids to college. Instead of providing more at-risk kids with the opportunity to attend an afterschool program, they are flat funding the afterschool program. We can and we must do better for our families."

“The American people expect a budget that reflects their priorities and values,” said Senator Landrieu. “Unfortunately, the Administration’s budget proposal misplaces America’s priorities, ignores our values, bypasses victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and squeezes the middle-class.”

“Middle class families in Michigan and across America are struggling financially and are under tremendous pressure to make ends meet,” said Senator Stabenow. “The President’s budget proposals will add to that struggle–driving up the cost of college and health care. Democrats are fighting for the right priorities and the kind of future we need to raise our children, take care of our families and be secure in our retirement.”

America can do better than a budget that puts tax breaks for multi-millionaires on the backs of a middle class struggling to get by. Democrats are fighting for something better, and will offer amendments to the budget bill under debate this week to make education, health care, and energy costs more affordable for middle-class Americans.