President Bush submitted his first budget to a Democratic congress today, Monday, Feb. 5, 2007.
The president’s $2.9 million request includes a significant increase in military spending. Some of the money would go to Iraq, although the actual spending on the war would be lower than last year’s.
“We have proven and I strongly believe Congress needs to listen to a budget which has no tax increase and a budget, because of fiscal discipline that can be balanced in five years,” President Bush said.
The president said his priorities lie with national parks, education, health care and protecting America from terrorism and providing for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Bush is proposing to spend $624 billion on defense, a four percent increase over last year’s request. However for the first time, that includes the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell released the following statement today.
“President Bush has put forth a budget that continues pro-growth policies to keep America’s economy robust without raising taxes. More than seven million jobs have been created since August 2003. These gains are the result of energizing tax relief we passed and should be kept in place.” ~Mitch McConnell
“We heard loud and clear from Congress that they were seeking more transparency and more and better information sooner, so they could conduct appropriate oversight,” Budget Director Rob Portman said.
Democrats and some Republicans lashed out at the president’s plan, saying it’s unlikely it will balance the budget by 2012, three years after Mr. Bush has left office.
“I would characterize this budget as being full of debt and deception. It’s disconnected from reality and will move America in the wrong direction,” North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad said.
The president is seeking to eliminate or sharply reduce 141 government programs, for a savings of $12 billion but he’s proposed many of those same cuts in the past to Congress and they’ve been rejected.