GOP bashes Democrats on supplemental, fiscal 2003 budget

Tax--and budget resolution--deadline day may have passed, but Republicans in both chambers and at the White House Tuesday called for fiscal restraint in how Congress responds to the administration's third fiscal 2002 supplemental spending request. They also continued to criticize the Democratic Senate's failure, thus far, to adopt a fiscal 2003 budget plan.

Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., fired the day's opening salvo when he took to the Senate floor to pronounce the prospect of the Senate not passing a budget resolution "very troubling."

Lott predicted "legislative chaos for the remainder of the year" if the Senate lacks a budget and points of order to control the appropriations process, and pointed out that, since enactment of the 1974 Budget Act, the Senate has never failed to pass its own budget, and accused Democrats of not wanting to cast the "tough votes" needed to pass a budget with such a razor-thin majority.

Lott also took particular aim at the reserve fund the Democratic budget would create for defense spending after fiscal 2004, calling the reserve "nothing more than a gimmick" and the budget "soft on defense" for not giving the president his entire 10-year defense spending request without any strings attached.

Across the Capitol, House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, chided Daschle and the Senate for not passing a budget before the statutory deadline for a conference report to be completed.

"April 15 has come and gone, and the Senate has not produced a budget," Armey told reporters. "This is a continued pattern of failed leadership that is borne out of … a combination of inability and indifference."

Armey also said he opposed spending more than what the administration requested last month in the supplemental and suggested President Bush should veto any spending beyond his $27 billion request.

"We thought that was--what should I say--ample, with a capital 'A,' " Armey said of the request.

House leaders have contemplated attaching a potentially difficult vote to raise the debt ceiling to the supplemental. "If the supplemental goes beyond the $27 [billion], then I … would argue against putting the debt ceiling on it because I would want the president to have every sense of freedom to veto it," he said. Armey said most legislators' requests for additional supplemental spending are defense-related and acknowledged they were coming from both sides of the aisle.

Office of Management and Budget Director Mitch Daniels, who spoke at an American League of Lobbyists lunch, told the group the White House thinks that, with the latest $27 billion request, "We think that's going to be enough money for this year" and rejected the idea of yet another supplemental.

Asked later by reporters whether Bush would veto the supplemental if it exceeds $27 billion, Daniels declined to use the word "veto," but did say Bush has "made it plain that if he is called on to be the brake on excessive spending, he's prepared to do it."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.