The Budget Dance Begins
The annual budget proposal landed in Washington today with its traditional pomp and circumstance, yet the Democratic takeover of Congress makes the $2.9 trillion White House plan essentially dead on arrival.
But that doesn't mean the budget will be dismissed outright. Instead, this budget proposal will be debated publicly on Capitol Hill (and privately on K Street). And debated. And debated. And discussed. And then discussed some more.
The chairmen of the House and Senate Budget committees, Rep. John Spratt (D-S.C.) and Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), held three different press events today designed to trash Bush's proposals, one each on their own in the morning and then another together in the Senate Radio/TV gallery in the early afternoon. Across town, at least 15 separate federal departments and agencies were scheduled to hold press briefings to explain the impact of this proposal on their annual bottom-lines.
That's just the beginning.
Conrad will convene his full committee Tuesday morning to assess the costs of the Iraq war on the budget. Half an hour earlier, the Senate Armed Services Committee will begin its hearing on the budget proposal and its impact on defense spending. And in the middle of the afternoon Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson will appear before the Senate Finance Committee to discuss the budget plan.
That's just the Senate side.
Over on the House side, Spratt gets first crack at Office of Management and Budget Director Rob Portman Tuesday morning in the Cannon House Office Building, one of three House committee hearings tomorrow about the budget proposal.
So, for those counting, that's three press availabilities on the Hill today, 15 at the agencies, and half-dozen hearings in the House and Senate tomorrow.
By Wednesday, Paulson plans to lumber up to the Senate to appear before Conrad's committee -- and that's one of six more House and Senate hearings on the budget. And then Thursday, three more Senate committees and three more House committees take their respective whacks.
So, again, for those counting, from Tuesday through Thursday, there will be 18 different hearings on Capitol Hill to assess President Bush's second-to-last proposal for how to spend nearly $3 trillion in federal spending.
With so much to talk about, you would be forgiven if you thought this was a budget that leaders were looking forward to talking about. Not so, according to today's reactions from top Democrats. Instead, Democrats will take the spending blueprint and largely toss it aside, crafting their own version as they try for the first time in 13 years to pass the budget by the statutory deadline of April 15.
"Today's budget from the president is just more of the same fiscal irresponsibility and misplaced priorities; it takes our country in the wrong direction," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said.
"Its priorities are disconnected from the needs of middle class Americans," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
And don't forget, Congress still hasn't finished work on the current year's budget plan...
Posted by: WOW | February 5, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: meuphys | February 5, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: HILLAEYisAshemale | February 5, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: cyngbond | February 6, 2007 2:56 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Moderates Unite | February 7, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Liberty writer | February 7, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: apetra | February 9, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: paul | February 15, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.