Congress approves spending proposal

By Andrew Taylor: The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Ending dual spending battles with President Bush, the Democratic-controlled Congress passed a $555 billion bill Wednesday that funds the Iraq war well into next year and government agencies through September. Bush was expected soon to sign the measure, which includes $70 billion for military operations in Iraq […]

Senate endorses raise for military

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers An endorsement from a Senate panel Tuesday could mean a 3.5 percent pay raise for military members and civilian Department of Defense employees. The pay raise exceeds the 3 percent recommended by President Bush. “It’s a very good pay raise considering the circumstances and what’s happening right now,” military spouse […]

Government travel budget should be re-examined

Editorial As big and costly as the federal government is, we wouldn’t expect that its travel budget would be a pittance. But last year’s total of more than $14 billion is still a shocker. Perhaps we can take solace in the fact that it’s lower than the 2005 bill by $1.3 billion. But it’s still […]

Bingaman: Water project justified investment

By Kevin Wilson: Freedom Newspapers Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., is serving his fifth term in Congress and is chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Following Tuesday’s Senate field hearing at Clovis-Carver Public Library, he answered a few questions for Freedom Newspapers. Q: You came to Clovis for the field hearing regarding the […]

Lawmakers review military spending measure

Freedom Newspapers Sen. Pete Domenici has asked the Air Force to determine if a military spending measure that the House passed Wednesday could adversely impact New Mexico Air Force installations, according to his spokesperson, Chris Gallegos. The House spending measure — to be considered by the Senate in coming weeks — provides extra money for […]

Bills slated for first 100 hours of House better left undone

By Freedom Newspapers Perhaps the worst aspect of new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s promise to pass a passel of poll-tested bills during the first 100 hours of the 110th Congress is that the exercise will not be over after 100 hours as ordinary mortals count them. The countdown doesn’t begin, as Democrats calculate matters, until […]

Timid gestures won’t slow congressional spending

Editorial Just as it took the anti-Communist Richard Nixon to go to China, because anyone else would have been accused of cuddling up with the Reds, perhaps it will take congressional Democrats — a party never associated with fiscal discipline — to help put a halt to the abuse of pork-barrel earmarks. Or perhaps Speaker-in-waiting […]

It may be too late for Republicans to save sinking ship

Editorial It may be too late for Republicans to restore their lost luster as the party of fiscal responsibility, at least in time to prevent a drubbing in the coming elections. But at least some of them are trying. A few senators are pushing the SOS bill, the Stop Overspending Act of 2006, which attempts […]

White House needs changes in policies, not faces

Editorial We’ll abstain from clichés about rearranging deck chairs, but the personnel changes at the White House in recent weeks, while they may matter greatly to inside-the-Beltway pundits and the immediate families of those involved, don’t suggest that significant policy changes are in the offing. That’s unfortunate, because changing policy in significant ways would do […]

Richardson threatens to veto more than $200 million in spending

By Barry Massey The Associated Press SANTA FE — Gov. Bill Richardson said Tuesday he’s likely to veto more than $200 million from spending bills to balance the main budget account this year and replenish the state’s financial reserves. Richardson delivered the veto warning in a speech in Albuquerque to a statewide business group, and […]

Budget wins final legislative approval, heads to governor

By Barry Massey SANTA FE — Gov. Bill Richardson is withholding judgment on a nearly $5.1 billion budget measure that won final approval in the Legislature. Richardson, who had sharply criticized earlier budget proposals by lawmakers, declined to say whether he will accept or reject the spending measure that was approved Tuesday. The Legislature is […]

House approved budget is an 8.4 percent increase

By Barry Massey SANTA FE — State spending would increase by 8.4 percent next year to pay for public education and general government programs under a $5.1 billion budget bill approved unanimously by the House. About two-thirds of the proposed spending increase is directed at public schools and colleges and universities. The Senate approved a […]

Nearly $5.1 billion budget package heads to House

By BARRY MASSEY SANTA FE — A House committee approved a nearly $5.1 billion budget bill Tuesday that leaves money available for tax cuts and saves some of the state’s revenue windfall in a permanent fund. The bill now goes to the House, which is expected to vote on it later this week. Under the […]

Responsible spending urged for Legislature

By Andy Jackson: Freedom Newspapers Area lawmakers are urging responsible spending during the 2006 state Legislature even after record oil and gas receipts pumped the state coffers full of extra money. The state’s revenue from oil and gas leases jumped by $92 million in 2005 compared to 2004, according to state figures. Sen. Stuart Ingle, […]

Huge revenue windfall expected next year in N.M.

Staff and wire reports SANTA FE — State government is looking at an unprecedented revenue windfall. Gov. Bill Richardson and legislators will have more than $600 million in “new money” next year for spending increases and programs and to cover the cost of tax breaks. The latest revenue projections call for more than twice as […]

Crisis overtakes Bush’s agenda, rearranging second-term landscape

Tom Raum: Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON — Hurricane Katrina swamped President Bush’s second-term domestic agenda, reordering his priorities and changing the political landscape. His open-ended commitment to rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast has become his No. 1 domestic imperative. Swept away was Bush’s pledge to cut the budget deficit in half. His centerpiece […]

Federal budget no longer on cruise control

By Jeff Bingaman: Guest Columnist For most Americans, the subject of the federal budget is about as interesting as diagramming sentences in a high school English class. For New Mexicans, however, the federal budget is of vital importance. Here’s why: In the current fiscal year, direct federal expenditures made in our state will total about […]

Spending package has projects for area

Staff and Wire Reports WASHINGTON — Republicans whisked a $388 billion spending bill through the House on Saturday, a mammoth measure that underscores the dominance of deficit politics by curbing dollars for everything from education to environmental cleanups. Lawmakers approved the measure by a bipartisan 344-51 margin on what might be the last day of […]

Roberts believes she has another term in her

By David Arkin: PNT Correspondent One of the state’s longest-serving lawmakers believes she still has a little more in the tank. For Earlene Roberts, it’s just not time to call it quits. The Lovington Republican has decided to run again for a seat in the House because she says she’s not completely comfortable with the […]

N.M. budget looking low for future

David Arkin: PNT Correspondent A financial committee’s prediction that New Mexico might face up to a $170 million budget shortfall by 2006 would create difficult spending decisions for the state, a local lawmaker said. The Legislative Finance Committee, which released on Tuesday its five-year forecast, claims government spending is expected to outpace revenues by about […]