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Thune and Johnson Split on Obama Budget

February 16, 2011, 6:05 PM by Jon Wilson

Thune and Johnson Split on Obama Budget
WASHINGTON,D.C. - The president's 2012 Budget is expected to trim more than one trillion dollars from the deficit. The proposal would also put two major South Dakota projects in jeopardy.

"We have a budget that I think just misses the point that the American people were trying to to make and the message they were trying to send is that we need to get spending and debt under control." South Dakota Senator John Thune said.

"I commend the president for looking for ways to ring-in spending while continuing to invest in the future." S.D. Senator Tim Johnson said.

One way to cut spending is to eliminate earmarks, or drastically reduce the amount of federal aid allocated to many others, like the Lewis and Clark Water Pipeline.

"This is a huge disappointment, a huge missed opportunity and it's a commitment that's been made to the people of South Dakota." Thune said.

Along with parts of Iowa, and Minnesota too. Instead of millions, the project is set to receive less than a half million dollars from congress in 2012.

"This is a clear example of why I believe earmarks are an important part of the budgeting process here in congress." Johnson said.

"Frankly it shouldn't take an earmark to get this done, the administration should have made this a priority." Thune said.

Considering the House and Senate already approved it. A similar scenario in Lead. The Underground Science Lab now falls under the Department of Energy, and also considered an earmark.

"The numbers are bound to change but the president's budget serves to remind us all of the difficult choices we'll have to make." Johnson said.

"My hope would be that when it's all said and done that congress will have an opportunity to weigh-in and that there will be more dollars allocated for important projects." Thune said. The debate begins as soon as congress sign's off on last years budget.

On Thursday, Johnson will chair his first Senate Banking committee hearing of the 112th Congress.

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