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Bush Proposes Bigger Defense, Homeland Security Budgets - 2004-01-31


President Bush wants to put legal limits on the amount of Congressional spending to keep the federal deficit from growing larger. Mr. Bush unveils his 2005 budget on Monday and used his weekly radio address to outline some of his spending priorities.

President Bush says his budget for the coming fiscal year will show Americans that his priorities are clearly at work.

"We will devote the resources necessary to win the war on terror and protect our homeland. We'll provide compassionate help to seniors, to schoolchildren, and to Americans in need of job training. And we will be responsible with the people's money by cutting the deficit in half over five years," Mr. Bush said.

The president wants a seven percent increase in defense spending and an eleven percent increase in Homeland Security. Facing criticism from fiscally conservative Republicans that he is spending too much, Mr. Bush called for legal limits on Congress so that any additional spending must be matched by cuts elsewhere.

Congressional Democrats say the president's record tax cuts are driving up the federal deficit and hurting the economy. Democrats hope to challenge the president on the economy in this year's election as almost three million Americans have lost their jobs since Mr. Bush took office.

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