Senate Democrats

The Bush Record on Fiscal Responsibility and Misplaced Priorities

After turning record surpluses into record deficits and increasing spending 50 percent, President Bush has no credibility on the issue of fiscal responsibility. Yet his speech today perfectly illustrates how his priorities compare to Democrats’ priorities and the priorities of our hard-working middle-class families. President Bush is willing to spend endlessly for the war in Iraq, with money borrowed largely from foreigners, while refusing to invest in important priorities here at home, like children’s health care, medical research, local law enforcement and homeland security. President Bush should stop playing politics and work with Congress to pass legislation that reflects the needs of our middle class families here at home.

President Bush’s priority – $2.4 trillion for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan without paying for it:

New CBO Study Puts Cost of Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan at $2.4 Trillion – Costing Every Man, Woman and Child $8,000. “The cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could total $2.4 trillion through the next decade, or nearly $8,000 per man, woman and child in the country, according to a Congressional Budget Office estimate scheduled for release Wednesday. A previous CBO estimate put the wars’ costs at more than $1.6 trillion. This one adds $705 billion in interest, taking into account that the conflicts are being funded with borrowed money…Assuming that Iraq accounts for about 80% of that total, the Iraq war would cost $1.9 trillion, including $564 million in interest, said Thomas Kahn, Spratt’s staff director.” [USA Today, 10/24/07]

President Bush falsely claims spending has skyrocketed under Democratic Leadership:

“Spending is skyrocketing under their leadership, at least proposed spending is skyrocketing under their leadership. After all, they’re trying to spend an additional $205 billion over the next five years. Some have said, well, take doesn’t matter much, not that much money. But $205 billion over the next five years in the real word amounts to this $4.7 Million per hour, every hour for every day for the next five years.”

President Bush Has Threatened to Veto Spending Bills Above His Overall Budget Request. President Bush has said he will veto spending bills that exceed his overall request. The difference between Democrats’ spending bills and the president’s budget request is relatively small, $22 billion more than his $933-billion proposal, an increase of about 2 percent. The $22 billion represents less than 1 percent of the entire federal budget and Democrats contend the number pales in comparison with the amount being spent in Iraq, approximately $10 billion a month and more than $450 billion since 2003. [Los Angeles Times, 9/25/07; New York Times, 9/24/07]

  • Difference Amounts to What We Spend in Iraq in 2 Months. According to a recent report from the Congressional Research Service, the U.S. is spending approximately $10 billion per month for the war in Iraq. The $22 billion difference amounts to a little over two months spending in Iraq. [CRS Report, 7/16/07]

President Bush Never Vetoed a Spending Bill from the Republican Congress. “Before Democrats took control of Congress from Republicans in January, Bush never vetoed any of these regular spending bills, even though they created record deficits and ran up the federal debt by about $3 trillion.” [Associated Press, 7/26/07]

President Bush Signed Legislation that Exceeded His Request. Just since 2003, President Bush has signed supplemental appropriations bills that exceeded his requests by more than $11 billion (with the extra spending totaling $4.4 billion in FY03, $3.7 billion in FY04, $3.2 billion in FY05, and $48 million in FY06).  [Congressional Budget Office]

President falsely claims he wants to work with Congress on children’s health insurance program, while misrepresenting new bill

“After going nowhere, congress should instead work with the administration that puts poor children first. A bill that will take care of the poor children that the initial bill said we got to do. A bill that would stop diverting money to adults. You realize some major states in the united states spend more money on adults than they do on children. We want a bill that enrolls the more than 500,000 poor children currently eligible for the program who are not a part of the program. We want to sit down in good faith and come up with a bill that is responsible.”

President Bush Refused to Meet With Congressional Leaders Himself to Find Compromise on Children’s Health Insurance Bill….. During his weekly pen and pad, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said,“So I would hope the President, if in fact a veto is not overwritten in the House, and we should know that within the next…a little bit, I would hope that the President will sit down and engage us.  Now the Speaker and I asked him yesterday to meet with us.  You know, he’s gone around saying ‘why don’t they lee-way, why don’t they talk, why don’t they negotiate, why don’t they compromise with us.’  He said ‘no, I’m not moving, meet with my staff.’” [Senator Reid Pen and Pad, 10/18/07]  

…..And 67 Percent of Americans Oppose President Bush’s Veto of the Children’s Health Insurance Bill. Additionally, the poll found that 67 percent of Americans disapproved of the President’s veto of the Children’s Health Insurance bill. [Kaiser Family Foundation, 10/07]

New Children’s Health Insurance Bill Answered Republican Concerns About the Legislation.  “The new version will underscore that illegal immigrants will not have access to the expanded program. It will ease adults off the program in one year, rather than the two in the vetoed version. And it establishes a firmer eligibility cap at 300 percent of the federal poverty line, just more than $60,000 for a family of four…The new bill seeks to allay concerns laid out by 38 Republicans seeking to vote for the next version…To answer criticism that the bill would encourage families with private health insurance onto government-funded health care, the new version adds performance bonuses for states that provide funding to employed parents to cover the additional cost of enrolling their children in their existing private policies.” [Washington Post, 10/25/07]