Congress Looks Askance at Bush's Budget

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WASHINGTON - President Bush says his budget proposal would help defend the country, preserve his tax cuts, and boost the economy. But Congress is already signaling the plan may be dead on arrival.

The President's top priorities are to increase military spending, with a 7 percent spending hike for the Pentagon and another 11 percent for homeland security.

"It understands our top priority is to defend our country. So we fund our military, as well as fund the homeland security. Secondly, the budget keeps our economy growing," Bush said.

But the budget's $150 billion economic stimulus plan may not be enough to satisfy Democrats in Congress. The Senate is already trying to add another $40 billion.

The President's plan would cut spending on domestic programs by $196 billion and slow growth in Medicare and Medicaid. Democrats don't like that.

Plus the $3 trillion plan would put the nation another $400 billion over-budget. And Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad criticized what he called an "explosion of debt."

"If we don't deal with this burgeoning debt, the United States will be dramatically diminished. Our strength in the world will be reduced and our economy will be threatened," Conrad said.

House Democrats say they'll put together their own budget plan in the coming weeks. They say the President's proposals to reign in spending can't work, in part because they don't address the price of U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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CBN News
Erick Stakelbeck

Erick Stakelbeck

CBN News Reporter

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