St. Louis Public Radio News
10:24 am
Mon February 1, 2010

Missouri senators react to Obama's 2011 budget

St. Louis, MO – Missouri's delegation to the U.S. Senate offered mixed reviews of President Obama $3.8 trillion budget for 2011.

Speaking at Lambert Airport in St. Louis Republican Kit Bond cast the President as a tax and spend liberal, "More of the same big government" he called it.

The budget which includes $1.5 trillion deficit would be the largest the country has over faced. The President justified the additional cost as necessary to help pull the country out of ten-percent unemployment.

Democrat Claire McCaskill said she was pleased that Obama is calling for a freeze in discretionary spending outside of funds for national security, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

In the longer term, the President is calling for the creation of a bipartisan task force of lawmakers and budget experts to create a deficit-reduction plan--a package of tax hikes and spending cuts to cut the deficit and stabilize government spending by 2015.

Bond is likely to be at the center of another debate over the proposed budget. The 2011 spending plan for the Department of Defense does not include money for Boeing's C-17 cargo planes. Some of the components are built in St. Louis, providing about 900 jobs.

Bond was one of several lawmakers from both parties who last year defied President Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to insert money for 10 C-17s into the 2010 budget. In a statement, he called the planes reliable workhorses, noting the key role they are playing in providing aid to earthquake-ravaged Haiti.