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Pallone Statement on President Bush's Fiscal Year 2006 Budget

Location: unknown

February 7, 2005

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) issued the following statement in response to the $2.5 trillion Fiscal Year (FY) 2006 Federal Budget President Bush submitted to Congress today.

"Last week, President Bush spent the majority of his State of the Union Address talking about his Social Security privatization plan and the continued war in Iraq, and yet neither of these funding priorities appeared in his budget.

"The president already said he plans to ask Congress for an additional $80 billion for our war efforts abroad, and yet he refuses to include those funds in his budget. The president knows his Social Security proposal will cost billions over the next ten years, but that too is ignored in his budget proposal. It's impossible for the president to reverse our nation's fiscal collapse if he continues to send incomplete budgets to Capitol Hill.

"The president's budget shows his lack of compassion for programs that benefit New Jersey's middle and lower income families. By drastically cutting housing, education, community policing, environmental protection and Medicaid programs, the president is essentially turning responsibility of these services over to cash-strapped states, like New Jersey, that he knows cannot pick up the slack.

"The president also refused to follow through with his promise during last week's State of the Union Address to do everything possible to help our soldiers and veterans recover. The president's pitiful .5-percent increase in Veterans' Affairs funding is a slap in the face to the millions of men and women who have fought for our country. Congress should not neglect these brave Americans, and should instead reject the president's budget proposal.

"President Bush once again targets beach replenishment projects critical to the Jersey Shore by proposing no federal involvement in any beach renourishment after the initial sand placement is completed. Under the president's proposal, any additional sand needed on New Jersey's beaches after the initial placement would have to come from state and local governments, which, again, simply cannot afford to foot the entire bill.

"The president made this same proposal last year, but it was rejected in Congress where my colleagues realize the important role beach renourishment plays in preventing devastating property damage from large coastal storms. As we prepare to renourish beaches between Sandy Hook and Barnegat Inlet, I'll continue to work in Congress to see that this shortsighted proposal is once again rejected. Based on our success last year, I'm confident this proposal is once again dead on arrival.

"I'm also disappointed the president once again refuses to hold polluters responsible for the cleanup of Superfund sites. At a time that we're facing record budget deficits, the president continues to insist that taxpayers, not the polluters themselves, fund all Superfund cleanups. Until we restore the Superfund tax, we will continue to undermine the program's effectiveness and further delay Superfund cleanups."

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