House, Senate pass 2004 Budget Resolutions

The new House version of the Budget Resolution calls for $4.865 billion in discretionary reductions over the 10-year period but leaves those up to the appropriations committees in both chambers. The House and Senate Agriculture Committees must recommend where they think the cuts should come by Sept. 2.

The votes on the Budget Resolution conference report came amid some strenuous arm-wrestling over the size and scope of President Bush’s requests for $726 billion in tax cuts over the 10 years.

The House finally passed a compromise tax reduction of $550 billion while the Senate version would give the President less than half of the cuts he requested. Ironically, Vice President Dick Cheney cast a tie-breaking vote that allowed the Senate version to pass.

Since the Budget Resolution only provides a blueprint, Washington observers said the votes were only the first round in what is expected to produce some heavy political in-fighting over the final size of the tax cuts in the months ahead.

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