Tags: House | OKs | Bush | Budget

House OKs Bush Budget

Wednesday, 09 May 2001 12:00 AM

The GOP in the end succeeded in persuading only six Democrats to support the plan, which passed 221 to 207.

Passage by the House, where Democrats generally have a much harder time imposing their legislative will, sends the broad, nonbinding budget and tax cut to the evenly divided Senate, where its future is less certain.

The budget would:

Despite indications that the GOP Senate leadership is confident that the budget will pass, success hinges on the support of conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans.

A group of about 15 of these centrist allies from both parties, led by Louisiana Democrat John Breaux, dictated much of the debate the first time the president's budget came to the Senate a month ago. They knocked the tax cut down from the proposed $1.6 trillion cut over 10 years to $1.18 trillion over the same time. During the negotiations between House and Senate conference committee members, this figure was raised to $1.25 trillion over 10 years, with Breaux's approval.

But that approval does not ensure passage during the Senate vote, expected today, because other changes made to the budget by the conferees have irritated Democrats, who were locked out of the sessions. Even though the latest version of the budget increases nonmilitary discretionary spending about 4 percent annually, Democrats, beholden to teachers unions, claim the increase will not allow for enough spending on failed government schools.

"Limiting" education spending makes votes from Democrats such as Delaware's Sen. Tom Carper and New Jersey's embattled Sen. Bob Torricelli and liberal Vermont Republican Jim Jeffords unlikely because the "moderates" were drawn into the fight over education spending in the first place, according to sources in several offices.

Breaux's support seems possible for the GOP because it agreed to keep a $100 billion stimulus package to reduce taxes for the next two years separate from the overall tax-cut effort. This stimulus package will be sent to the Senate Finance Committee, which will craft a way to return the money immediately to help ease a possible recession.

Just after the House vote, Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., defended the budget resolution as consistent with the nation's priorities and effective in stimulating the economy.

"This budget includes tax relief for every taxpayer," he said. "The American people deserve tax relief, our economy needs tax relief, and our budget delivers tax relief. This budget makes a reasonable and responsible commitment to education. It increases education funding by 11.5 percent."

Not so, argue Democrats, who say that the budget provides no new education spending beyond adjustments for inflation, and funds its tax cut by stealing money from Social Security and Medicare surpluses, not from tax revenue surpluses.

"This is the day that Republicans vote to raid Social Security and Medicare trust funds after we've come so far in extending their solvency out into the future to make sure these funds will be there for baby boomers and beyond," claimed House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, D-Mo. "This is the day they decide not to fund education programs even though the president said over and over again that this is his No. 1 priority.

"This is the day they vote against class-size reduction, school construction and school safety to give all of our children a first-rate public education. Today, the Republicans have voted to leave every child behind," Gephardt claimed, despite the increase in spending.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., was even more harsh in his assessment of the budget as the most "fiscally irresponsible budget I have ever seen."

He points to $65 billion in immediate tax cuts, but claims no increase in education spending - a charge the GOP refutes - and no new funding for socialistic program in health care or prescription-drug coverage for elders.

"We are left with a budget that embraces the tried-and-true failed fiscal policies that led our nation into deficit, debt and economic despair," Daschle said. "It is anchored by a tax cut that is irresponsible in its size and unfair in its structure."

Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

All rights reserved.

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Pre-2008
The GOP in the end succeeded in persuading only six Democrats to support the plan, which passed 221 to 207. Passage by the House, where Democrats generally have a much harder time imposing their legislative will, sends the broad, nonbinding budget and tax cut to the evenly...
House,OKs,Bush,Budget
675
2001-00-09
Wednesday, 09 May 2001 12:00 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved