Washington -- In an effort to slash the federal deficit in half by 2007, the Senate Budget Committee last week unveiled a resolution that seeks to cut some $7 billion from defense spending, to shave roughly $16 billion from domestic spending and reduce a slew of current entitlement programs.
The proposal also would allow for an additional $144 billion in tax cuts over the ensuing five years and would grant reconciliation protection to three tax cuts totaling $80.6 billion, set to expire at the end of 2004.
The Senate blueprint seeks to trim the 2007 budget deficit -- projected at $477 billion -- to $224 billion, and to $202 billion by 2009. By contrast, the Bush budget numbers would incur a deficit $114 billion higher over the same time period.
The Senate budget would assume a five-year cost of $22.7 billion for permanent extensions of expiring provisions of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Don Nickles, R-Okla., called the resolution "a real, positive, transparent, defensible budget."
President Bush has promised to halve the 2004 budget shortfall within five years. However, a recent analysis by the Congressional Budget Office said the Bush plan would not meet those projections.
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