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Bush Applauds Bipartisan Accord on Budget

Aired May 2, 2001 - 13:41   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN: Well, early we saw pictures of Congressional leaders meeting with George Bush today. And now, they have come out to the microphones and are talking, perhaps, about their completion of their federal budget plan. We'll listen in for a few moments.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Iowa has done a great job. So, we look forward to it. And, Don.

SEN. DON NICKLES (R), OKLAHOMA: I'll just echo. I think that it is historic, one from the standpoint we are talking about the largest tax cut in a couple of decades. So, that's important. We will have the tax relief going to taxpayers who are frankly overdue for it.

We passed a couple of tax cuts in the last couple of years, President Clinton vetoed them. So, taxpayers have been shortchanged; they've been paying too much in taxes. So, we will get some tax relief, that's historic.

And also, we will have a budget. The budget will be enforced. In the past administration, there's always lots of efforts, let's get around the budget, by members of Congress and the administration. This year, we have an administration and the budget committees and members of Congress to say, we'll live by the budget; we'll enforce the budget.

So, I think that both of very good news, both for the economy, for taxpayers, and for our government as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right.

NICKLES: Senator?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, first let me say how proud I am of the job that we've been able to accomplish here today for the American people. That's what this is all about. You know, we have great discussions about what discretionary spending ought to be and tax numbers and things like that. And when it comes right down to it, the decisions that are made around the kitchen tables around America are far more important to the daily lives of the people that we represent and even some of the big-shot decisions that we get to make out here.

But the one decision I think is most important here today, is that we are holding the growth on spending, the federal government; we're holding it to a level that is very similar to the kind of increases that family have to deal with.

And secondly, we're giving them back their money. We are saying, you know what? Your family budget is more important to what we have to deal with, than the federal government's budget. Your family budget, what you debate around your kitchen table is the priority here. And so here's your money back, you get to keep it, you get to make the decisions about college education, and buying new shoes, and buying a different appliance, maybe for your kitchen or whatever it might be. That's more important. And we are real proud that we very have been able to make the kind of decisions here today that gets that job done.

SEN. PETE DOMENICI (R), NEW MEXICO: Well, I will just take a couple of minutes. First I am very pleased to have the bipartisan support. It's good to have them onboard, especially Senator Breaux leading the group. In addition, we will be able to tell what you we are able to do for the American people on the expenditure side. But all of the high-priority items are being clearly covered.

QUESTION: Can you tell us, what kind of spending increase did you a agree on?

How much, Senator?

DOMENICI: The way I put it. It's -- the president is at 4 and we are at 5. It's 1 percent higher, and it's slightly less than that. But it's done in a way that can be enforced and clearly will be handled with the priorities that he and the people want out of this budget.

QUESTION: So the increase is just under 5 percent?

DOMENICI: That's correct.

QUESTION: Have you...

DOMENICI: Under 5 or 5. It's 4998. You choose to...

ALLEN: All right. Pete Domenici taking some questions. All of the Congressional Republican leaders are very happy after meeting with President Clinton (sic). They worked to complete a federal budget plan for the next year that would include a $1.35 trillion tax cut over 11 years. That's about $250 billion less than President Bush wanted, but that tax cut compromise appears headed for passage with the help of moderate Democrats.

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