WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer released the following statement this afternoon in response to President Bush’s remarks in Arkansas on the 2008 appropriations bills and fiscal discipline:
“After enacting policies that ignited record budget deficits and added more than $3 trillion to the national debt, the President simply has no standing to lecture anyone on the importance of fiscal responsibility. The fact is, Democrats in Washington today are the party of fiscal responsibility and are working to balance the federal budget.
“The worst kept secret in Washington this fall is that President Bush – after refusing to veto even one appropriations bill over the last six years – wants to instigate an appropriations fight with Congress in a vain attempt to establish his bonafides with his conservative base. But this is not a fight about spending. It’s a fight about our priorities as a nation – whether we adequately fund education, medical research, Head Start, clean water programs and health care for our veterans and men and women in uniform.
“Democrats believe the President’s priorities are deeply misguided. At the same time that he is proposing cuts to key domestic programs, he is demanding that Congress appropriate another $190 billion for the war in Iraq – with all of that Iraq funding added to the deficit.
“The President needs to stop posturing for his political base and work with Democrats in Congress on fiscally responsible funding levels for our national priorities.”