Border control big for Bush budget

A Customs and Border Protection officer checks passports at the passport control booth in Miami.

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: Today, President Bush unveils his $3 trillion spending plan for next fiscal year. Bush wants to cut $200 billion from Medicare and Medicaid, and he's calling for a near freeze on discretionary spending for transportation and education. But there's one area where he wants to inject more money. From our Americas Desk at WLRN, Marketplace's Dan Grech reports.


Dan Grech: The president's budget calls for a 19 percent increase in spending on border security and immigration enforcement. The $12.1 billion would go to construct more border fencing, hire more border patrol agents and conduct more raids on businesses that hire illegal immigrants.

Stan Collender: It's less about the budget and economy and far more about the election.

That's Stan Collender, a private budget analyst in Washington, D.C.

Collender: It's clearly designed to help Republicans running for election. Border control and immigration are big issues in the base of the party, and the president really hasn't done well with those folks.

Collender says there's little chance a Democratic Congress would gut Medicare and Medicaid to pay for an immigration crackdown.

Bush's budget forecasts a $400 billion deficit over the next two years. And that doesn't include a proposed $150 billion economic stimulus package.

I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...