Washington, DC—Senators Dick Durbin, Jack Reed and Robert Menendez held a press conference today to highlight the President’s and Congressional Republicans’ double standard as they oppose Democrats’ appropriations bills that fund critical priorities. As we work to improve Americans’ education, health care, housing and security, the President is blocking these efforts to score political points.
“The budget fight the President is spoiling for is about as phony as a World Wrestling Entertainment smackdown,” said Durbin, a Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “It’s a lot of bluster and showmanship that has very little to do with reality. The reality is: this Democratic Congress passed a responsible budget that invested in America’s middle-class families, our troops and our homeland security – without raising taxes and without adding one dollar to the national debt. This debate isn’t really about numbers, it’s about priorities. And President Bush’s priorities are simply not those of the American people.”
Said Reed, also a Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee: “This debate is really a question of priorities: Democrats believe that we should balance the budget and invest in things like education, health care, affordable housing, and law enforcement here at home. But now, after six years of signing off on Republican spending bills, President Bush has decided it is time to get out his veto pen for programs like the children’s health bill and education funding. If President Bush carries out more of his veto threats on things like education, cancer research, better roads, law enforcement and affordable housing, I hope that our Republican colleagues will finally say enough is enough and vote with us to override these senseless vetoes.”
“The President has one hand out demanding almost $200 billion dollars of our money for Iraq this year, while with the other he wants to veto a bill that provides for cancer research, hospitals, early childhood education and worker safety,” said Menendez, a Member of the Senate Budget Committee. “The Bush Administration likes to parrot the line that ‘we’re fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them here.’ But Americans have figured out that what they mean is, ‘We’re spending all our money over there so we don’t spend it here.’”