The Iowa Congressman who’ll lead House debate on the federal budget says republicans have not abandoned their call for balanced budgets. The budget President Bush has proposed calls for more deficit spending — and Bush’s budget plan is one-third larger than the first federal budget he proposed in 2001. Congressman Jim Nussle, a republican from Manchester, is chairman of the House Budget Committee. Nussle says the September 11th attack and the war on terror are the primary causes of the ballooning budget deficits. He says it will take a while to “dig out” of the deficit, but he says that’s republicans’ ultimate goal. “The tough news, of course, is no one knows exactly what the future specifically looks like and as a result exactly what the costs will be,” Nussle says. “As we know them, we’ll include them and I think that’s the best that we can do at this time.” Another wrinkle revealed this week in President Bush’s budget indicates the cost of the new prescription drug benefit for America’s seniors through Medicare will cost taxpayers 720 BILLION dollars in its first decade. That figure is far higher than any previous estimate. “Certainly we understand that the costs will continue to grow,” Nussle says. Medical malpractice reform and a reduction in the general costs of health care are needed to manage the system better, according to Nussle.
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