[Congressional Record Volume 150, Number 10 (Monday, February 2, 2004)]
[Pages S369-S370]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                              2005--PM 62

  The Presiding Officer laid before the Senate the following message 
from the President of the United States, together with an accompanying 
report; which was referred jointly to the Committees on Appropriations 
and on the Budget:
  The Budget I am proposing for 2005 is a reflection of this Nation's 
goals and purpose, and advances our three highest priorities. First, 
America will prevail in the War on Terror by defeating terrorists and 
their supporters. Second, we will continue to strengthen our homeland 
defenses. Third, this Nation is building on the economic recovery that 
began in earnest in 2003 with policies that further promote growth and 
job creation. In addition, we will continue to strengthen the domestic 
institutions that best express our values, and serve the basic needs of 
all: good schools, quality and affordable health care, and programs 
that promote hope and compassion in our communities. In meeting these 
priorities, the Government must exercise fiscal responsibility by 
limiting spending growth, focusing on the results of Government 
programs, and cutting wasteful spending.
  In 2003, America made great progress in the War on Terror. 
Afghanistan, which once was ruled by the repressive Taliban regime, now 
has adopted a new constitution, taking a fundamental step on the path 
to democracy. In Iraq, the remnants of the Ba'athist regime are being 
systematically rounded up, and Iraqis are assuming responsibility for 
their own security and future government. Libya has pledged to disclose 
and dismantle all of the regime's weapons of mass destruction programs.
  These victories do not change a fundamental truth: Our Nation remains 
at war. In this war, which began on September 11, 2001, our citizens 
are the strategic targets of our enemy. We have responded in two 
significant ways: First, we have taken the offensive to hunt down the 
terrorists, deny them easy refuge, identify and seize their secret 
finances, and hold them and their sponsors to account. Second, we have 
moved to secure the Nation's homeland. In 2003, the new Department of 
Homeland Security began operations in the biggest reorganization of the 
Federal Government in half a century. Over this past year, we have 
taken steps to reduce the terrorist threat to Americans here at home, 
and protect American interests overseas. This Nation has committed 
itself to the long war against terror. And we will see that war to its 
inevitable conclusion: The destruction of the terrorists.
  Our Budget reflects the continuing importance of providing for the 
defense and security of the American people. We will continue to 
provide whatever it takes to defend our country by fully supporting our 
military, which is performing with great skill and honor in our battles 
overseas. We also are providing the necessary resources to our law 
enforcement and emergency personnel at home to meet the new threats 
posed by terrorists.
  Just as we have taken much-needed steps to strengthen our national 
security, we have also pursued an aggressive agenda to promote our 
economic security. In 2003, we worked with the Congress to accelerate 
much of the tax relief that had been passed in 2001, so that Americans 
could keep more of their paychecks and so that businesses would have 
more incentive to invest in new jobs and new equipment. As a result, 
our economy is strong, and growing stronger. Economic output in the 
third quarter rose at its fastest annual pace in nearly 20 years. More 
manufacturers reported rising factory activity than at any point in the 
last 20 years. American homeownership reached its highest level ever. 
Employment is on the rise. By cutting tax rates on investment gains and 
dividend payments, we promoted saving, capital formation, and 
investment--and Americans' holdings in the stock market rose by almost 
$3 trillion.
  There is still more to do, however. We cannot be satisfied until 
every American looking for work has found a job. We must sustain the 
momentum of this recovery by making the tax relief passed in 2001 and 
2003 permanent. We will continue to open markets abroad for American 
products. And as the economy improves, we will also confront the 
challenge faced by workers who must learn new skills to fill new jobs. 
As a Nation, we must help Americans develop the skills they need to 
succeed in a highly competitive, highly productive economy. And so this 
budget continues to support high standards in our schools and proposes 
a Jobs for the 21st Century initiative to ensure older students and 
adults can gain the skills they need to find work now.
  Economic growth and good stewardship of taxpayer dollars will help us 
meet another important priority: Cutting the budget deficit brought on 
by recession and war. We must continue to evaluate each Federal 
program, to make sure that it meets its goals, and produces the desired 
results. I propose to hold discretionary spending growth below four 
percent, less than the average rate of growth of American family 
incomes. And spending unrelated to defense and homeland security will 
be held below one percent growth--less

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than the rate of inflation--while continuing to meet education, health 
care, and other priorities of this Nation. With this spending restraint 
and continue pro-growth economic policies, we can cut the deficit in 
half over the next five years.
  Finally, this Budget addresses the needs of a great and compassionate 
Nation, whose values are strong, and whose institutions of hope are 
enduring. We are helping communities of faith pull the addicted out of 
dependency. We are lifting children out of a life of despair by making 
sure they have mentors, and we will continue to press for improvements 
in our schools, so that no child is left behind. We are extending hope 
and healing to millions suffering from the global epidemic of AIDS. We 
will begin to implement the benefits of our Medicare modernization and 
reform law, which will bring all our seniors coverage for prescription 
drugs. And we will make health care more affordable and extend the full 
benefits of our health care system to more Americans who currently have 
no health insurance.
  Meeting these priorities will require hard work, skill, and the 
resources of a great Nation. Yet America has always risen to new 
challenges, and has always set new goals. Challenge and change have 
revealed the true strengths of this Nation and the enterprise of its 
people. And as 2004 begins, I am confident those gifts will serve us 
again, until our work is done.
                                                      George W. Bush.  
The White House, February 2, 2004.