Budget War Begins

A senior Republican and senior Democrat on Tuesday each criticized the Administration for continuing to request emergency supplementals to fund the war on terrorism. At the first hearing on the 2007 defense budget proposal, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) complained, “I do not know how you can call it an emergency anymore when you know you are going to have costs associated with the Iraq war.” He said the new request was the seventh, making a “total of some $400 billion in the last four years.” Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) was of the same mind, stating that the new budget “understates the true cost of our defense programs.” He said the 2007 spending request “fails” the test for “responsible budgeting,” which requires “making choices and setting priorities.”