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November 13, 2001

S.J.Res. 28 - Suspending Certain Provisions of Law Pursuant to
Section 258(a)(2) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency
Deficit Control Act of 1985

(Sen. Daschle (D) South Dakota)

The Administration strongly opposes S.J.Res 28, which would temporarily waive budget enforcement mechanisms due to the receipt of the Congressional Budget Office's Low Growth Report. While the economic downturn and increased fiscal demands stemming from the terrorist attacks have dealt a set-back to the near-term fiscal picture, it is crucial to prevent an abandonment of budget discipline that could turn temporary fiscal erosion into an unending series of deficits.

The Administration stands ready to fund the needs stemming from the recent terrorist attacks and provide vital economic stimulus. Since September 11, more than $60 billion has been allocated or pledged for disaster relief, recovery and cleanup, national defense, and homeland security. The Administration is also working with Congress to produce an economic stimulus package that delivers true stimulus via tax relief. However, it is crucial that bills providing for these needed and temporary expenditures do not become vehicles for permanent spending on other projects that have nothing to do with stimulus and that will only expand the size of government. The Budget Enforcement Act is an integral part of enforcing budget discipline and is needed now more than ever.

The Administration also urges Congress to act to adjust the discretionary caps to reflect the agreement between the Administration and Congress to hold Fiscal Year 2002 discretionary spending to $686 billion and to clear the pay-as-you-go scorecard. These enforcement mechanisms will only be effective going forward if they start from a realistic base.