White House scores budget victory

March 11, 2004 at 11:54 AM
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WASHINGTON, March 11 (UPI) -- The Bush administration scored a major victory Wednesday in its effort to get its 2005 budget enacted when proposed cuts to the Pentagon budget were dropped.

The GOP budget committee chairmen leading the effort to draft budget resolutions in both the House and Senate, Sen. Don Nickles of Oklahoma and Rep. Jim Nussle of Iowa, proposed to slash military spending by $7 billion and $2 billion, respectively, from Bush's proposed $421 billion Pentagon budget.

But GOP military hawks on both sides of the Capitol, in the Republican leadership and the White House opposed the idea.

The Senate voted to reinstate the cuts during floor debate Wednesday evening, while Nussle capitulated to GOP leadership pressure and removed his cuts from his bill being marked-up in committee Thursday.

GOP leaders in the Senate failed in their effort Wednesday to stop approval of pay-as-you-go requirements that ensure that all future tax cuts and increases in entitlement spending be paid for.

While the move would make extending Bush's expiring tax cuts much more difficult, it is not expected to survive House-Senate negotiations over a final resolution.

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