Iowa Congressman Jim Nussle, the chairman of the Budget Committee, led the debate as the U.S. House approved a more than two trillion dollar federal budget outline, with military spending consuming about 52 percent of the pie. Nussle called it a “war-time budget” at a time of “very difficult” economic challenges. There will be a federal deficit and experts predict the budget won’t get to out of red ink ’til 2012. Nussle says deficits are a reality because the government’s bankrolling a war, stepping up homeland security and trying to stimulate the economy. He says he doesn’t like deficit, and won’t say that they don’t matter, but he says all the screaming and finger pointing in the world won’t change the fact that we have deficits. The plan calls for one-point-three trillion dollars worth of tax cuts over the next decade, and a one percent budget cut in all but homeland security and defense programs. Nussle says Congress will have failed if growing the economy isn’t top priority. Nussle, who’s a republican, reminded Democrats that Bill Clinton’s ’92 campaign slogan was “It’s the economy, stupid.” Nussle says it was important to pay tribute to U.S. troops and press ahead with House debate on the budget rather than postpone it because of a “tyrant in Baghdad” or fears of terrorism at home.Nussle says the American military is doing its job without “blinking an eye” and Congress should do the same.
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