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WASHINGTON - House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today regarding the Fiscal Year 2004 Budget released by the Bush Administration today:
"One week after telling the American people that 'we will not pass along our problems to other Congresses, other presidents, and other generations,' the President has released a budget for Fiscal Year 2004 that does precisely that. Budget deficits - the fiscal Frankenstein that shackles economic growth - are back with a vengeance.
"The Administration's new budget projects a $307 billion deficit this year - the largest in American history. And that does not even include the costs of fighting a potential war in Iraq. Even worse, the Administration now projects budget deficits for the foreseeable future - less than two years after the President assured us that 'we can proceed with tax relief without fear of budget deficits, even if the economy softens.'
"The President has attempted a sleight of hand with his 2004 budget. He claims that he is adequately funding the nation's priorities while maintaining 'spending discipline'. But a quick glance shows that the President's plan short-changes many domestic priorities while abandoning fiscal responsibility. For example, the budgets of the Departments of Labor and Housing and Urban Development, and the Army Corps of Engineers, Small Business Administration, and Environmental Protection Agency do not even keep up with inflation.
"In addition, to hide the stunning reversal in our fiscal health and the results of the Administration's failed economic policies, the Administration tries to trick the American public by switching from a ten-year to a five-year budget estimate. This is a transparent attempt to mask the future explosive effect of the President's tax proposals."