Washington, DC — Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, Budget Committee Ranking Member Senator Kent Conrad, and Homeland Security and Government Affairs Ranking Member Senator Joe Lieberman today called for a budget that puts America’s security first.
Instead, President Bush’s proposed budget would make America less safe, putting more of our national debt into the hands of foreign governments and shortchanging America’s veterans, first responders, and homeland security infrastructure, all to pay for giveaways to special interests and corporate cronies.
“President Bush is misleading the American people by saying one thing and doing another,” said Senator Reid. “Despite the rhetoric, this budget will hurt our national security, pull cops from our streets, leave our ports, trains, and cargo vulnerable to attack, and leave our health care system unprepared for Avian Flu. It is Americans who pay the price for Republican priorities, and we can do better.”
“We are becoming increasingly reliant on foreigners to buy our debt and refinance our deficit spending,” said Senator Conrad. “This growth in foreign-held debt has serious national security ramifications. No great nation can maintain its greatness on borrowed funds. Eventually, those bills will come due. Only if we return to a fiscally responsible course will we be able to ensure the long-term economic and national security of our great nation.”
“The Administration’s Fiscal Year 2007 homeland security budget is short sighted and short funded given the dangers – both natural and terrorist – that face this country,” said Senator Lieberman. “In reality, it provides a mere one percent increase over last year, which doesn’t even keep pace with the rate of inflation. It cuts a number of our most critical first responder programs and slashes preparedness funding by 16 percent. I have written Budget Chairman Gregg and Ranking Member Conrad recommending an additional $8 billion to invest in homeland security programs because the Administration’s budget simply does not provide the resources necessary for the nation to be able to prevent, respond to and recover from an act of terrorism or a catastrophic natural disaster.”
Democrats believe America needs a budget that puts the nation’s security first, not the same misleading rhetoric and misplaced priorities of the President and his Republican Congress. America can do better for our soldiers and first responders, for the security our nation, and for our fiscal policy.