WASHINGTON – The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is set to air a television advertisement attacking President Bush and a handful of Republican congressmen for failing to adequately address the recession.
Office of Management and Budget Director Mitch Daniels announced Wednesday that the federal budget will run a deficit until at least 2005. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., was quick to blame the $1.35 trillion tax cut pushed by Bush and approved by Congress earlier this year.
Rep. Nita Lowey also called the $100 billion economic stimulus plan that passed the House on a party-line vote "unpatriotic" because it offers more incentives to businesses than workers. Lowey, DCCC chairwoman, is one member of the New York delegation that pushed to add billions in additional emergency spending for recovery efforts in New York from the Sept. 11 attacks.
The DCCC said the ads, which will air in December, will criticize the economic measures and positions taken by President Bush and berate select GOP lawmakers for their votes or lack of them.
Daschle said he hasn't yet seen the "Bush recession" ads the DCCC is releasing but "would just say that there is a sensitivity in the administration about the recession."
Republicans went into full gear to slam the ads as inappropriate and unfortunate.
"I find it sad that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee would seek to profit politically from the slowdown of the economy caused in part by the events of September 11th," said House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill. "I call on the Democratic Leadership to work with us to improve the economy and stop their campaign to profit politically from these times of trouble."
Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., suggested that even though recession is bad for the country, Democrats are stalling economic stimulus legislation for political gain, and those tactics along with the ad will backfire.
"It's shameful, absurd and very poorly timed," he said of the ads.
The White House has denied that the economic downturn is the result of Bush policies by saying that the numbers started dropping before Bush policies could impact the economy.
He added that the loss of 415,000 jobs since Oct. 5 indicates that the recession was compounded by the attacks of Sept. 11 rather than any tax-cutting prerogatives.
"It's a question of fact," White House Spokesman Ari Fleischer said.