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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 24, 2002

President's Statement on House Passing Budget and Spending Bills

The House did a great service today for our men and women in uniform fighting the war against terror, for homeland security, and for fiscal discipline. The House also showed our enemies that America is united and determined to fight and win this war on our terms.

A combination of recession and the need to spend what it takes to win the war have put the Federal budget into deficit. As we do what is necessary to prevail in the war and protect our homeland, the Congress must restrain other government spending so we can return to a balanced budget soon.

The House has shown that a responsible budget can be enacted, and the Senate should follow suit. I expect the Senate to only spend on what is necessary to fight the war and for our immediate emergency needs. With our nation now at war, now is not the time for unnecessary spending on lower priority items.

The House bill is a successful model for budget and spending bills: fund our most basic priorities without increasing the deficit or undermining our efforts to return to a balanced budget. I am especially grateful to Speaker Hastert and Chairman Young for their leadership, and to all the Members of Congress who voted for this package.


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