Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who chairs the Appropriations Committee, defended a plan to use budget devices to add $6 billion to $7 billion to pending appropriations bills for fiscal 2005.This article discusses the way Senators are coming up with gimmicks to circumvent the President's budget request. It's funny when scum like Tom Delay wants increased NASA funding in his district so we can get to MARS faster, and yet he's the fiscal conservative.
"There's an overwhelming need there for more money," Stevens said after emerging from a luncheon caucus of Republican senators.
The budgetary maneuvering in the Senate would push discretionary spending in 2005 well above the $821.6 billion ceiling set by the White House.
That ceiling has resulted in a major squeeze on popular domestic programs, even as spending for the Pentagon and domestic counterterrorism programs soars. The near-freeze in domestic spending that the Bush administration proposed has brought protests from key constituencies, including universities, medical research centers and community health groups.
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) said this week that Congress should hold the line on spending. But he is pressing for the House Appropriations Committee to restore about $1.1 billion that it cut from the Bush administration's budget proposal for NASA.
The cuts would affect Mars exploration, in which NASA facilities based in DeLay's home town of Houston have a role. The NASA funding dispute has stalled action on the bill, which also funds veterans and environmental programs.
Also in the bill is $3 Billion in cash to Florida for it's disaster. Sorry, but if Florida wasn't a swing state I'd expect half that cash, and not as quickly. Btw, if there are parts of the Senate bill that someone didn't like, say Tom Delay's NASA cash, then you essentially "voted against helping Floridians in need." That's where we're at.
However, in a non-bill vote, which will never show up, Republicans did vote against this:
Despite a loosening of purse strings in other areas, the Senate yesterday turned back Democratic initiatives to increase spending for homeland security, including a proposal to nearly double funding for such high-threat urban areas as New York and Washington.But of course, that's soooooo secondary.
As it considered the $36.7 billion spending bill for domestic security, the Senate rejected a proposal by Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles E. Schumer, both New York Democrats, to add $625 million to the $875 million already in the legislation for the nation's most vulnerable population centers. This would have brought the total to $1.5 billion, the figure recommended by Bush for high-risk areas.