The U-S House Budget Committee has developed an outline for the federal budget that committee chair Jim Nussle of Iowa calls “challenging.” Nussle says America has a number of “vexing problems” including a looming war and a sagging domestic economy. Democrats are criticizing Nussle for racking up huge federal deficits, Iowa Democratic Party chairman Gordon Fischer says Nussle inherited a surplus when he took over as committee chairman in 2001, and — in Fischer’s words — Nussle has been a “virtual wrecking ball to our nation’s finances.” Nussle defends his work and the budget plan just advanced through committee. Nussle says it’s a seven-year plan that’ll eventually balance the budget. He says it provides for the defense of the U-S and proposes reform of the Medicare system, including prescription drug coverage for seniors. As for homeland security, Nussle says the money that goes to labs in Ames and Iowa City might be as important as any area.He says our food and water supplies are our most cherished resources and we need to find ways to prevent terrorists from hitting them.
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