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Dems Want to Focus on Federal Budget

Reconsidering the federal budget should be one of Congress' first priorities in the new year, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Saturday in the Democrats' weekly radio address.

"Today as Americans are making New Year's resolutions, our Democratic New Year's resolution is to renew America's promise," the California congresswoman said.

A budget that addresses issues such as health care and education would create a better future for the American people, she said, but the current Republican spending plan fails to do so.

"The federal budget should be a statement of our national values," Pelosi said. "Sadly, the Republican budget fails that test."

Pelosi drew on several religious references during her address. She also mentioned a December rally of religious leaders who traveled to Washington to protest the proposed budget.

"Religious leaders told Congress that they are drawing a moral line in the sand against the Republican budget's misplaced priorities."

The budget proposed by the Democrats protects the middle class, reduces the deficit and reflects our American values, Pelosi said.

With this plan, she said, the government could wisely invest in issues that are important to Americans, such as education, health care and keeping energy costs down. Proposed spending cuts for these programs has drawn fiery debate in Congress in recent weeks.

"We must draw a fiscal line in the sand. And we must join the religious community in drawing a moral line in the sand," Pelosi said. "Nothing less is at stake than the well-being of America's children, the strength and soundness of our economy, and the respect that America commands in the world."