Pelosi: 'Bush Budget an Indictment of GOP’s Distorted Priorities'

Washington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined Senate Democratic Leader Daschle at a news conference today on President Bush’s fiscal year 2005 budget:

"The budget should be a statement of our national values.  Instead, the budget the President released on Monday is an indictment of his distorted priorities.

"President Bush’s budget picks winners and losers in our society.  He wants to stack the deck so that those who are already winning continue to win.  The wealthiest Americans are the biggest winners, as he rewards wealth over work with more tax cuts and corporate handouts.  Most appalling is the breathtaking $46 billion the President just gives away to HMOs.

"Those who lose out are our children, seniors, veterans, and the environment.  His budget squeezes every drop out of the domestic funding that has already been virtually frozen for the past two years.

"This budget is also fundamentally dishonest.  Last year, Senator Daschle and I warned of the President’s growing credibility gap.  Sadly, the pattern has continued, and the President now faces a deepening credibility deficit, because of the bills he does not pay and the promises he does not keep.

"When the President says to Congress in the State of the Union address that: ‘the tax cuts you passed should be permanent’ and then does not account for the enormous costs of those same tax cuts for the wealthy, the credibility deficit deepens.

"When he tells our brave troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan in the State of the Union that he will: ‘give you the resources you need’ but then does not budget for them, the credibility deficit deepens.

"When he claims that: ‘We can proceed with tax relief without fear of budget deficits’ and now puts forward a budget with a $521 billion deficit, the credibility deficit deepens.

"And when he claims in the State of the Union that he: ‘refuses to give up on any child’ and then underfunds the No Child Left Behind law by $9.4 billion, the credibility deficit deepens.

"The President’s budget will create record deficits, but it will not create jobs.  It fulfills his promises to big drug companies, but breaks his promise to fund our children’s education.  It will protect corporate polluters, but will not protect the environment.

"Last year, in the State of the Union, the President said: ‘We will not deny, we will not ignore, we will not pass along our problems to other Congresses, to other Presidents, and other generations.’   But that is exactly what this budget does.

"Democrats will fight this dishonest, special interest budget, and we will not pass on crushing debt to our children.  That would be morally irresponsible. 

"Democrats will continue to fight for a fiscally sound budget that helps all Americans by ensuring our national security, creating good-paying jobs, improving education, lowering health care costs, and making college more affordable.”