Published January 26, 2002
WASHINGTON – President Bush reiterated his military and homeland defense proposals announced earlier in the week during his Saturday radio address.
In order to stop international terrorism and help Americans rest assured that the country is safe from further attack, Bush vowed to "spend what it takes."
The proposal's announcement provides transition to the State of the Union address he will deliver to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night.
Bush pledged billions of dollars in his fiscal 2003 budget plan to his top priorities – building up the American military and focusing on homeland security issues.
The military alone will see an extra $48 billion, the largest increase in defense spending in 20 years, and $38 billion will go toward homeland security, the president said.
"Every budget reflects fundamental choices, and my administration has made choices to fit the times," he said. "We'll protect our people in every way necessary, and we will carry on the campaign against global terror until we achieve our goal: The peace that comes from victory."
In the Democrats' radio address broadcast an hour later, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., supported Bush in his war on terrorism, but suggested the nation needed a quick economic boost.
"In the war on terrorism, President Bush and his national security team continue to do a superb job," Daschle said.
"But there are also reasons to be concerned. Last week, we learned that the massive surplus we predicted a year ago has shrunk by four trillion dollars. We are expected to be running deficits for the remainder of President Bush's term," he said.
Bush said the effort to root out terrorists will be neither brief nor cheap, and the U.S. military will need the best high-tech equipment available to succeed at it.
"My budget calls for ... investing in more precision weapons, missile defenses, unmanned vehicles and high-tech equipment for our soldiers on the ground. I will also seek another pay increase for the men and women who wear our country's uniform," he said. "We will spend what it takes to win the war against terrorism."
The president pledged to steady the nation's wobbly economy by trying to create a climate for job creation that can ease the effects of the current recession.
"Government doesn't create jobs, but it can encourage an environment in which jobs are created," Bush said. He urged the Democratic-controlled Senate to approve an economic stimulus package to help that process along.
But the Senate dealt Bush a setback Friday, declining to extend a new three-year tax break to companies strained by recession.
Democrats said the provision would have cost $66 billion over the next 10 years, making the country's fiscal outlook worse and discouraging job creation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.