Partisan bickering already surrounds President Bush’s proposed budget for 2008 as Congressional Democrats focus on the billions the Republican president suggests spending on the military. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican, says the full defense budget is in the neighborhood of 662-billion dollars.
Grassley says "Probably 550-billion of that would be spent if we had total peace around the world, just to maintain a defense establishment because a strong national defense is the best bulwark that we have for peace." Bush’s budget includes 174-billion dollars for Iraq through 2008. Grassley looks at it as something of an insurance policy.
Grassley says "We call it the Department of Defense but it’s a department of peace because if you have a strong national defense, you’re more apt to ward off people attacking you and putting your life, Americans’ lives in danger." He says Democrats are "talking out of both sides of their mouth" when it comes to military spending.
Grassley says "There isn’t a Senate Democrat who may be raising questions about the war in Iraq, always say ‘We support the troops’ and they’re committed to putting whatever money it takes to support the troops in Iraq." He says Democrats are being disingenuous if they say they’re behind America’s soldiers 100-percent while they’re also trying to pare back funding the Department of Defense.
Grassley says "They can’t have it both ways. Either they support the troops in Iraq, and if they do, they give ’em the money to do the job that most of them voted to send the troops over there to do. Or they don’t support the troops and then they can vote to cut the money out." The president’s full budget for 2008, delivered to Congress on Monday, reportedly totals two-point-nine trillion dollars.