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B’nai B’rith International is pleased that after many months of deliberation the U.S. Congress has passed a budget deal keeping the government funded past the Jan. 15, 2014 deadline. The agreement rolls back a portion of the arbitrary and damaging sequester cuts to domestic programs. While avoiding another government shutdown and escaping a period of budget crises is important, the remaining spending cuts will still be problematic for seniors and we continue to be concerned about spending levels for specific programs for the aging.

This deal does signify a willingness to move forward without the constant threat of shutdowns and will make it easier for providers of aging service to plan for the next two years.

It is important to remember that the appropriations process will still determine exactly how the new overall levels are spent, and there are crucial aging programs that have been short changed in recent years, particularly senior housing. We will continue to work to restore funding in those areas.

B’nai B’rith is also pleased that, with a few notable exceptions, older adults and retirement programs were not asked to underwrite this shift in deficit reduction. We hope going forward that the massive cuts domestic programs have taken to contribute to federal deficit reduction will be recognized and curtailed. The elderly and the poor by and large bear the brunt of the already-implemented domestic spending cuts and these groups should not be asked to be first in line to again sacrifice.