Iowa Congressman Jim Nussle took center stage today as debate began on the House budget bill. Nussle is the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, and said in his opening remarks that there’s one thing that’s guided the preparation of the budget. He says even before last year they had an idea of what this budget must do. He says this budget has got to get spending under control and reduce the deficit. Nussle, a republican, says there was no doubt about it. He says he heard that message from every member, from the president, and from every constituent in Iowa. He says people told him Congress was spending too much money and wasting too much money. Nussle says one thing that won’t happen to balance the budget is a tax increase. He says this is one delineation between the parties and between all the other budgets, he says “this budget does not raise taxes, period.” He says the tax cuts are working and we’re starting to see their impact on the economy. Nussle says one of the problems is the budget has grown on an average of six percent over the last three years. He says some of the growth has been necessary, like Homeland Security, the war on terrorism, education and Veterans benefits. But Nussle says they need to go through the budget with a fine tooth come and hold the line on spending. He says taxpayers can make wiser decisions on spending money than Congress. Nussle says they have to look for waste and savings in everything — even Homeland Security. He says some people will say legislators don’t care about Homeland Security if they look for savings in the department, but he says that’s not fair. He says they should respect every dollar and find savings wherever they can. Nussle says the Homeland Security Department was proposed as a way to combine efforts and save money. The House is expected to debate the budget throughout the day.
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