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U.S. National Debt:

Crapo and Craig Vote For Budget Resolution

Senate passes budget that funds fiscal year 2004

Washington, DC â?? Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Larry Craig joined with Senate colleagues in approving the $2.24 trillion Fiscal Year 2004 Budget, S. Con. Res. 23. The final vote was 56 to 44, and followed a marathon voting session that began Tuesday morning and included votes on nearly 80 amendments. The resolution will now be the subject of a House-Senate conference committee, which will work out the final Congressional budget resolution.Crapo, who serves on the Senate Budget Committee, said, â??It has been a challenge to work through the issues surrounding this yearâ??s budget, but the fact that we did not pass a resolution last year loomed large in the debate and many Senators realized how that failure handicapped business last year. It is imperative that we do what is necessary to fight against terrorism and fully support our military troops who are now in harmâ??s way to protect our freedom and homeland. Over the past two days, we have debated the merits of many amendments that have been proposed to the budget resolution. Ultimately , we have agreement on a resolution that puts us on a path to restore our national economy and provides for important priorities. However, we must be vigilant as we begin the appropriations process to keep in mind that we must exercise restraint and keep a balanced budget as our goal. This budget resolution returns the federal government to surplus within ten years, and I, for one, will be anxious to support efforts that will move that goal even closer.â??â??I commend the Senate Budget Committee, including my colleague Mike Crapo, for hard work on a responsible budget. We must do whatever it takes to win the war against terrorism, protect our homeland and boost our economy,â?? said Craig, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee. â??Beyond that, we must return to balanced federal budgets as soon as possible. There are two things necessary for balancing the budget: spending restraint and a strong economy. With this budget, the Senate has rejected hundreds of billions of dollars in big-spending amendments. I am hopeful that the House-Senate conference that works out a final budget will provide for the President's full tax relief package, which will grow the economy and create jobs.â??Details on the final budget resolution will be available later today at # # #