GOP searching for reconstruction funds

WASHINGTON, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Republican congressmen are searching for ways to pay for U.S. Gulf Coast reconstruction, the bill for which may run to $200 billion.

With the federal budget already in deficit and President Bush promising to spend "whatever it takes" to rebuild areas wrecked by Hurricane Katrina, some members of Congress are beginning to wonder where the funds will come from. And this is before whatever havoc Hurricane Rita wreaks in Texas.


Republicans plan to keep the extension of some tax cuts, and Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, and Bush have both said the start of a Medicare prescription drug benefit should not be postponed.

But where to cut? Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., told the Financial Times he sees ripe targets in foreign aid, public broadcasting and Amtrak.

Rohrabacher told the newspaper: "If we Republicans who are now in charge of both houses of Congress and the presidency are unable to make tough decisions and provide leadership, then we're going to be telling the American people we're no different (than the Democrats)."

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