Watching Government: 2005 federal budget

US President George W. Bush Feb. 2 proposed a $2.4 trillion federal budget for the 2005 fiscal year slated to start Oct. 1. Members of Congress, which decides how much money actually gets spent, likely will fight with the White House and with each other over the proposal. Competing interests delayed the 2004 budget 3 months past its official deadline, and the same thing could happen again, election year or not.For 2005, Bush wants to raise defense spending by 7% but hold most other programs close to 2004 levels. His budget drew sharp criticisms across the political spectrum. Fiscal conservatives said the projected $364 billion deficit for fiscal 2005 was too high, given that revenue shor...

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