February 2, 2004
In his State of the Union address, President Bush laid out ambitious goals
for the future, behind which all Americans can unite, and urged the Nation
to move forward with the work that still needs to be done.
Today, President Bush announced his Fiscal Year 2005 budget, a plan to
help make America a more secure, more prosperous, and more hopeful country.
- The Presidents budget addresses key priorities while restraining
overall spending. The budget provides substantial increases to improve
our Nations security and win the War on Terror. It also increases
funding for key priorities such as economic growth and job creation,
education, and affordable health care. At the same time, the budget
restrains spending in other areas of government keeping non-defense,
non-homeland security Federal spending growth to less than 1%
(less than the rate of inflation) and staying on course to cut
the deficit in half within 5 years.
President Bushs budget is focused on:
- Winning the War on Terror by Defeating Terrorists and Their
Supporters: President Bushs FY 2005 budget includes $401.7
billion for the Department of Defense, a 35% increase over FY 2001
levels and a 7% increase over the FY 2004 enacted level. These funds
are giving Americas armed forces the tools they need to win the War
on Terror, while modernizing our military to meet the emerging threats
of the 21st century. Since FY 2001, President Bush has improved the
quality of life for military personnel and their families by providing
pay raises of more than 21% and increasing the quality of housing and
covering housing costs for personnel who choose to live off-base.
His budget also includes $10.3 billion to develop missile defenses
for our homeland, U.S. forces deployed abroad, and our allies.
- Protecting America by Securing Our Homeland: The Presidents
budget for FY 2005 proposes a 9.7% increase in government-wide homeland
security funding, nearly tripling the FY 2001 levels even when homeland
security funding for the Department of Defense and Project BioShield are excluded.
- Strengthening Our Economy: The Presidents budget proposes to continue the strong
pro-growth policies that are creating jobs and opportunities for the American people.
The budget would make permanent the tax relief he signed into law, which doubled the
child tax credit; reduced the marriage penalty; phases out the death tax; lowered rates
on capital gains, stock dividends, and small businesses to create incentives for job
creation; and lowered rates for every American who pays income taxes. And it
provides more than $500 million for the Presidents Jobs for the 21st Century
initiative to give current and future workers the skills they need to secure
jobs in the highest-demand, highest-growth sectors, while helping to create those
jobs by making the research and experimentation tax credit permanent.
- Supporting Key Priorities Like Education, Health Care, and Helping Americans
Most in Need: The Presidents budget includes substantial increases for key National
priorities, including strengthening public schools through the No Child Left Behind Act
(including a $1 billion increase for high-poverty schools, a 52% increase since 2001);
providing funding for Medicare prescription drugs; making healthcare insurance more
affordable with new tax credits; and providing support to local charities that are
helping to solve some of Americas most pressing social problems.
Protecting Our Homeland: While 28 months have passed since September 11, 2001,
President Bush will not allow our Nation to return to a sense of complacency and false security.
- The Presidents budget includes a 10% increase over FY 2004 for the Department of
Homeland Security, a doubling of funding for DHS programs since FY 2001. These funds
include a $900 million (20%) increase over last year for aviation security and transportation
security; a $450 million (5%) increase for border security; $1.9 billion for port security
efforts and a $490 million (9%) increase for the Coast Guard; and a $65 million (123%)
increase for the BioWatch network of sensors to detect a terrorist release of biological pathogens.
- The budget includes $2.6 billion for Department of Justice counterterrorism
operations, a 19% increase over FY 2004 levels, including a $1.9 billion (60%)
increase over FY 2001 levels for FBI counterterrorism operations.
- Since 2001, the Federal government has provided more than $13 billion to
help state and local governments prepare to respond to potential terrorist
threats. The Presidents budget proposes an additional $3.6 billion for
first-responder grants and $1.3 billion for state, local, and hospital
bioterrorism preparedness grants.
- The budget includes $568 million (190% increase) to improve Americas
food and agriculture security by increasing detection capabilities and
developing counter-measures against potential attacks.
Strengthening Our Economy: Despite the series of shocks that
slowed the economy, including a sharp drop in the stock market beginning in 2000,
the terrorists attacks of 9/11, corporate scandals, and war, Americas economy
is strong and getting stronger.
The tax relief proposed and signed into law by President Bush was the
right action at the right time for our economy. The results of this decisive
action are clear. Economic growth in the second half of 2003 was the fastest
in nearly 20 years. New home construction in 2003 was the highest in 25 years;
homeownership levels are at historic highs; manufacturing activity is increasing;
inflation and interest rates are low; and a quarter million jobs were created in the
last half of 2003. And the Presidents tax relief agenda has resulted in significant
benefits for the taxpayers of America:
- More than 105 million taxpayers have seen their income tax bills reduced.
- Over 23 million small business taxpayers have additional tax savings to invest in new equipment, expand facilities and hire additional workers.
- More than 33 million married couples are benefiting from marriage penalty relief.
- Over 26 million families have benefited from the increase in the child tax credit from $600 to $1,000.
President Bushs FY 2005 budget includes his call to Congress to secure these
positive economic trends for the future by making the tax relief permanent so
families and businesses can plan and invest with confidence.
Promoting Accountability and Results in Americas Public Schools:
President Bushs FY 2005 budget represents a 49% increase in Federal
funding for elementary and secondary education since FY 2001. Through
the No Child Left Behind Act, these historic levels of support are combined
with an unprecedented commitment to achieving high standards and accountability
to ensure that Americas schools are producing real results for every child.
- The Presidents budget includes an additional $1 billion in Title
I funding for disadvantaged students (for a total representing a 52%
increase since FY 2001) and $138 million for reading programs (for a
total that represents more than a 400% increase over FY 2001).
- The President is also committed to ensuring that children with
special needs receive a quality education. His budget provides an
additional $1 billion for special education programs
(for a total increase of 75% since FY 2001).
Making Health Care More Affordable and Accessible: President Bushs budget would help
extend the benefits of modern medicine throughout our country, help to control the rising
costs of medical care, and give more Americans access to healthcare insurance.
- Strengthening Medicare: The Presidents Budget would implement the
new Medicare prescription drug law. Starting this year, seniors can
choose to receive a drug discount card that will save 10-25% off the
retail price of most prescription drugs and millions of low-income
seniors can get an additional $600 to buy medicine. Beginning next year,
seniors will have new coverage for preventive screenings against diabetes and
heart disease, and seniors just entering Medicare can receive wellness exams.
And in January of 2006, seniors can get prescription coverage with real health
coverage choices under Medicare. For a modest monthly premium, most seniors
who do not have prescription drug coverage could see their drug bills cut roughly in half.
- Addressing the Rising Cost of Health Care: President Bush has
outlined a number of proposals to address the rising cost of health
care. His budget includes proposals to make health insurance more
affordable and accessible. It would provide lower-income Americans
a refundable tax credit so millions can buy their own basic health
insurance coverage. It also enables individuals who buy catastrophic
health care coverage as part of their new Health Savings Accounts to
deduct 100% of the premium, whether or not they itemize deductions from
their taxes. The budget includes a plan to computerize more health
records to reduce health care costs and improve care. The President
also proposes to enable small businesses to band together and negotiate
for lower health coverage costs for their workers.
Building a Better and More Compassionate America for All
- Veterans: The Presidents FY 2005 budget for VA medical care
is over 40% larger than when he took office enabling a million
more patients to receive treatment. He has also implemented changes
to ensure that veterans receive timely and quality medical care,
shortened the time needed to process a veterans disability claims,
and put VA on track to eliminate the waiting lists for veterans in
need of medical care this year.
- Helping Americans Most in Need: The President is fully committed
to empowering more of Americas faith-based and community groups to
address some of our toughest social problems and help those most in need.
His budget includes a new four-year, $300 million initiative to bring faith-based
and community groups together with Federal agencies to help recently released
prisoners make a successful transition back to society and longterm employment reducing
the chance that they will commit crimes again. This four-year, $300 million initiative
will provide basic job training and placement, transitional housing, and mentoring.
His budget also provides $150 million as part of a three-year program for mentoring
disadvantaged youth and children of prisoners, and $200 million as part of a three-year
effort to provide treatment for addicts including through faith- based and community
drug treatment programs.