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Washington, D.C. – Debate began this week on the 2004 Budget Resolution, which provides Congress with a blueprint on taxes and spending as legislative decisions are made throughout the year.

U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., a member of the Senate Banking Committee, said if debate on the budget is completed this week, the stage could be set for final adoption before the April 15 deadline.

Below are excerpts from Enzi's floor speech on Monday regarding the budget.

For the full text of his speech, please click on this link.

"The budget process isn't the details but the broad blueprint of where the money goes. Most importantly, it establishes the rules that people have to operate under when they do authorizing and appropriations. This is an extremely critical piece of the puzzle. It's a piece designed to get done in relatively rapid fire so that those other parts of the process can be done."

"While I have a degree in accounting, you don't need to be an accountant to know we cannot spend our way out of debt. Accounting doesn't work that way. We either have to increase revenue or decrease spending in order to balance the budget in the coming years."

"We have seen from past times that providing an economic plan, providing some tax relief has stimulated the economy, and it can do that again. What we're talking about is efficient use of capital. Where can it be best applied to get the best results. This does not mean we have to decrease spending for critical programs in order to spur investment. Instead, I believe we must hold our spending in check and then increase revenue by creating an environment that allows businesses to grow and subsequently pay more into the federal pot."

"We need to aid the people and businesses who make up our economic machine and get it moving down the tracks at full speed again. That's the businesses, particularly the small businesses."

"Eliminating the double taxation on dividend economic is fair and right because income should not be taxed twice."

"The more money a corporation has to pay in taxes, the less money it has to invest in inventory to maintain the building or more importantly, to hire more people to take care of the customers. I think reducing this tax burden on small businesses will be the most effective growth mechanism."

"We must be prepared to provide the resources necessary to keep the men and women of our armed services safe and strong. However, I caution my colleagues, we should not add the cost of the war to the baseline of our budget. God willing, this war will be short if it happens and we should not treat it as an ongoing expense. We shouldn't put it in as a baseline so that next year we can build from that baseline an even greater expenditure. It has to be treated as a one-time emergency. Mostly, I fear that the money used this year to fund the war would be swallowed up next year by the spending machines who can't wait to dip into as a new pool of money."

"During the Budget Committee markup, I worked with my colleagues to include a sense of the senate that would direct Congress to develop a long-term drought plan and establish a reserve that would fund emergency and disaster assistance to livestock as well as agricultural producers hurt by the drought. I think this provision goes a long way in making a clear statement that we are systematically preparing for the negative impacts of drought and other disasters through a long-term strategy rather than a knee-jerk reaction."

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