Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 16, 2000


Today President Clinton will urge Congress to pass a fiscally disciplined budget that invests in key priorities, extends the life of Social Security and Medicare, and pays off the debt held by the public by 2013. In contrast, the Budget Resolution passed by the House Republicans on the Budget Committee requires deep reductions in key priorities, threatens to drain the Social Security surplus, fails to add a single day to the life of Medicare or Social Security, would make it impossible to pay off the debt by 2013, and risks our continued economic prosperity.

Before Even Considering Its Budget Resolution, the House Spent More Than Half of the On-budget Surplus on Tax Cuts. Before even considering investments in Medicare, Social Security, or Education, the House has already passed tax cuts that total $374 billion over 10 years. With interest, that would use $458 billion of the surplus - more than half of the $746 billion non-Social Security surplus projected by the Administration or the $893 billion projected by the Congressional Budget Office over the next 10 years.

The House Budget Would Fail to Provide for Key Priorities that are Essential to the Nation's Future. While the President's budget provides significant investments in essential priorities, including education, law enforcement and science and technology, the Republican budget slashes these priorities.

The House Budget Resolution Would Cut Most of Domestic Discretionary Spending By an Average of Nearly 10 Percent in 2001 Alone. The House budget resolution has non-defense discretionary spending of $289 billion -- that is $20 billion below the funding level needed to maintain current program levels. The Republicans have said they will protect funding for certain areas including defense, veterans' health and the National Institutes of Health. To do so within the total level of funding allocated b the Budget Resolution, they would need to slash funding for most other domestic priorities by an average of nearly 10 per cent in 2001 alone. If Republicans continued spending cuts at the same rate as 2001-05, then the cut in domestic priorities would grow to, on average, around 25 percent by 2010.

If These Unrealistic Spending Cuts Do Not Materialize, the Republican Tax Cuts Would Spend the Entire Non-Social Security Surplus and Would Dip Into the Social Security Surplus. The basic tax cut proposed by the House Budget Resolution would cost $150 billion over 5 years. With interest, the cost would be $166 billion -- nearly all of the Congressional Budget Office's projected $170 billion 5-year non-Social Security surplus.

The Republican Budget Does Not Add a Single Day to the Solvency of Social Security or Medicare.

The Fiscally Undisciplined Republican Tax Cut Would Make It Impossible To Pay Off the Debt By 2013 and Would Risk Our Economic Expansion. After taking account of the "reserve" for tax cuts and Medicare, the Republicans have not set aside any money over the next five years for additional debt reduction beyond using the Social Security surplus for that purpose. If the drastic Republican spending cuts were not implemented, then the Republicans would have to divert a sizeable portion of the Social Security surplus away from debt reduction. As a result, it would be impossible to pay off the debt held by the public by 2013.

President Clinton and Vice President Gore Have Proposed a Balanced and Fiscally Responsible Plan to Strengthen Social Security and Medicare, Pay Off the National Debt by 2013 and Maintain Our Economic Prosperity, While Investing in Key Priorities like Health and Education.

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