Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Fall Budget Battle Should Be Intense


WASHINGTON - With lawmakers returning today from their summer recess, the Democratic-controlled Congress and the White House are headed for what could be the biggest budget fight in more than a decade - and both sides are relishing it.

"There is going to be a big showdown," said Robert L. Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a budget watchdog group, "because both sides believe they have something to gain politically. I don't get the sense that either side is interested in compromise."

President Bush, under pressure from fiscal conservatives in the Republican Party to take a firm hand in erasing the red ink in the budget, is threatening to veto nine of the 12 appropriations bills approved by the House. The White House complained that a number of the bills call for "irresponsible and excessive" spending.