HOYER SEES BUDGET BLACKOUT IN CBO BUDGET FORECAST

For Immediate Release:

August 26, 2003

Contact:Stacey Farnen
202-225-3130

WASHINGTON – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in response to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) new budget forecast:

 “CBO’s latest budget outlook released today makes clear that the entire nation can look forward to a budget blackout in the next decade with consequences much more devastating to our economy than the electricity blackouts earlier this month.

 “The ‘best case scenario’ in this outlook is really a ‘not going to happen scenario’.  The CBO’s assumptions that annual budget deficits will slowly be reduced stand in defiance of several political realities, such as the extension of tax breaks that Republican leaders have vowed to enact and the creation of a Medicare prescription drug benefit.

 “Democratic concern over budget deficits is not political gamesmanship.  Wall Street also is starting to send signals to the Administration that long-term deficits are harmful to the economy and they must be brought in check.

 “The bleak budget outlook is in large measure a direct result of Bush Administration policies, but the president is passing the buck by blaming events that are beyond his control.  It used to be that presidents took responsibility for what happened under their watch, believing that the ‘buck stopped here’.  It is time for the president to take responsibility for setting this country up for a budget blackout and work with Congress to set the country on a responsible path of strong economic and job growth.”

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