Apr 11 2003

UNITED STATES SENATE PASSES BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2004

Statement of Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL)

The U.S. Senate today passed budget legislation that will guide spending for upcoming Fiscal Year 2004. U.S. Senator Richard C. Shelby voted in support of the legislation.

“I believe this budget maintains fiscal discipline while also ensuring adequate funding for many of our national priorities,” said Shelby. “While our economy continues to show signs of growth, our federal government faces many spending constraints. The war against terrorism and the liberation of Iraq will continue to be important priorities.”

“The resolution sets out a total spending plan of $2.268 trillion for the 2004 budget year,” added Shelby. “This funding includes $400.5 billion that will allow us to maintain our commitment to restoring our military, $90 billion for federal education assistance to the states, $240.6 billion for vital federal health functions, $266 billion for Medicare, $63.8 billion for veterans benefits, all while maintaining our commitment to our seniors by fully funding Social Security benefits. The legislation also provides tax relief totaling $550 billion over the next 10 years.”

“The level of transportation spending provided in this bill represents a compromise between the House and the Senate,” said Shelby. “Congress is now committed to providing spending authority of $231 billion for highways and $49.1 billion for transit. While the many important economic elements of this package have my strong support, I will work to bring transportation spending levels back to those levels agreed to in the Senate.”