With a number of expensive bills moving through Congress this year, some Democrats, such as the fiscally conservative Blue Dog coalition, could become jittery. But Rep. Jim Cooper (D., Tenn.), a prominent Blue Dog, had high praise for the president's budget blueprint Thursday, saying it dispensed with the gimmicks of previous years.We'll see how the Blue Dogs triangulate with Republican angst as the budget process goes along.
Under George W. Bush, for example, the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan weren't included in the budget but were paid for in so-called supplemental spending bills.
"This is more honest than any budget in many, many years," Mr. Cooper said. "That also means it's also ugly. I welcome the honesty. I think it's time for Americans to grapple with fundamental problems and not pretend that wars are free and things like that."
Democratic leaders said they would like to pass a budget resolution by April 3, an unusually rapid schedule. After they return from their spring recess, the appropriations committees will start writing the specific spending bills for next year.
Mr. Cooper, of Tennessee, also praised the administration for projecting the budget out for 10 years, providing a more complete picture. "You need an accurate diagnosis before you can have the cure," Mr. Cooper said. "It takes courage to give that diagnosis. A lot of people don't want to hear it."
Friday, February 27, 2009
According to this morning's Wall Street Journal: