Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Truth About The Supplemental Spending Bill

A report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service makes clear that Bush’s deadline is completely fabricated. According to the CRS, "the Army has enough money in its existing budget to fund operations and maintenance through the end of May—about $52.6 billion. If additional transfer authority is tapped, subject to Congress approving a reprogramming request, the Army would have enough funds to make it through nearly two additional months, or toward the end of July." 

Conservatives are also claiming they oppose the emergency spending bill because it includes money for domestic priorities, including aide for veterans, children's health care funds, and housing assistance and reconstruction funds for the Gulf Coast. During his radio address Saturday, President Bush complained that the emergency bills were "loaded up...with billions of dollars in domestic spending completely unrelated to the war." This from the same President Bush who has engineered tens of millions of dollars in executive earmarks, and never once vetoed any of Congress’ previous pork-laden spending bills. Likewise, Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott (R-MS) claimed he opposed the emergency spending bill because it "heap[s] pork on the backs of our men and women in uniform." This from the same Trent Lott who authored "the largest earmark ever," the $700 million "railroad to nowhere." The truth is that Bush and his conservative allies oppose this bill because it changes course in Iraq; they just don't want to make that their first argument, because they know it's so unpopular.

President Bush said on Saturday that the annual budget resolutions passed recently by the House and Senate "would raise taxes by a total of nearly $400 billion over the next five years," which he described as "the largest tax increase in our nation's history."   The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities states, "charges that the plan requires multi-hundred-billion dollar tax increases are not correct." Likewise, the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan group that advocates for "responsible fiscal policy," calls the new budget a "successful first test of how seriously [House leaders] plan to abide by [the PAYGO] rule, [assuming] no entitlement expansions or tax cuts that are not fully offset." Ironically, the tax cut expiration dates conservatives are now attacking are the same ones they wrote and supported in 2001 and 2003.

              From  American Progress Action