Congressman Jim Nussle, a Republican candidate for governor who serves as the U.S. House Budget Committee chairman, today (Wednesday) called for deep cuts in the federal spending to “confront” the budget challenges caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Nussle proposes a two-percent across the board cut in much of the federal spending plans laid for the fiscal year that began October 1st. That two percent cut would pare about 16 billion dollars. In addition, Nussle’s asking fellow Republican leaders in Congress to find another 10 percent worth of “savings” in most sections of the federal budget. Nussle says this deal is far from becoming law. “Making a proposal is one thing,” Nussle says. “Actually passing policy and making law is another.” Nussle is also demanding that President Bush spell out how he believes Congress should pay for Gulf Coast reconstruction. “So we can begin the debate and discussion of whether and how that is appropriate,” Nussle says. Nussle says the Bush Administration needs to present Congress with more details on what he wants in terms of reconstruction, relocation and rebuilding. Nussle opposes any tax increase to pay for rebuilding hurricane-ravaged communities. “I don’t believe a tax increase is appropriate at this point in time,” Nussle says. “We need to keep the one bright spot in all of this going forward as well as possible and that’s the economic growth that we’ve experienced this year.” Nussle also wants Congress to start building next year’s budget now, to get a jump start on the difficult spending decisions that must be made.
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