Archive for Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Kansas lawmakers support Bush speech; Moore wants funds for mandates

January 21, 2004


— Most Kansans in Congress were quick to embrace the plans President Bush outlined Tuesday for reviving the economy and his call for Congress to ensure the recovery lasts.

Republican Sen. Sam Brownback was pleased with Bush's budget priorities, which include halving the deficit over five years.

"I think that's one of the key new thrusts that you're seeing and that I think you're going to see a lot more played out as we go into the budget cycle now, to get back to a balanced budget," he said

Republican Rep. Jerry Moran also applauded Bush's call for fiscal responsibility.

"We need to be on a path of paying down the national debt," said Moran, who represents western Kansas. "To most Kansans, they see it as a moral issue; it's simply wrong to expect our children and grandchildren to pay for things the government is providing them today."

Republican Sen. Pat Roberts said the president's budgetary goals depend on the economy and the events of the day.

"I don't think anybody could have predicted what would happen three years ago, with 9-11, the recession and all of that," he said. "I think we're on the right track. At least he has an agenda to halve the deficit in five years."

Rep. Dennis Moore, the delegation's lone Democrat, called on Bush to fully fund his education reform bill, called No Child Left Behind, which Moore said fell $7 billion short last year.

"I voted for this bill -- if we're going to impose additional requirements on our schools, we need to provide funding," he said.

Rep. Jim Ryun, a Republican who represents eastern Kansas, applauded Bush's call for making his tax cuts permanent. Under Senate budget rules, most of the tax cuts expire in 2011, although some end even earlier.

"It's going to mean more jobs in Kansas," said Ryun, who serves on the House Budget Committee. He said several constituents told him last year if they could make an extra $1,000 or $1,100, "they'd be OK."

"That's in essence what we've been able to do," Ryun said. "Unemployment is beginning to drop."

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