Washington, D.C.-U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) offered the following response today to the release of President Bush 's $2.4 trillion Fiscal Year (FY) 2005 Federal Budget.
"President Bush's budget continues to send our nation into a fiscal tailspin. Rather than realizing his giant tax breaks for the wealthiest few are mainly responsible for the record deficits we now endure, the president refuses to change course and restore fiscal sanity. The president even refuses to be straight with the American people by once again omitting necessary funding for our continued war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The president leaves middle class Americans behind by dramatically cutting funding for Pell Grants, veterans health care and environmental protection.
"President Bush's proposal to shift the cost of renourishing our beaches to state and local governments could have a devastating effect on the Jersey shore. In a departure from previous policy, President Bush is proposing that only the initial sand placement receive funding from the federal government. The president would then shift all additional placement, much of which is scheduled to take place over a 50-year period, to cash-strapped state and local governments.
"If this shortsighted policy ever became a reality, all sand placement after the initial project would be in jeopardy. This program is critical to many communities in New Jersey, who, year after year, are threatened by beach erosion and flooding caused by storms. As I have in the past, I will work in Congress to restore the necessary funding and ensure the president's newest proposal never becomes law."