White House pulls trigger early on budget praise

April 3, 2009

G20/As the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate drew closer to wrapping up votes on their version of the fiscal 2010 budget, President Barack Obama’s staff appeared to pull the trigger a bit hastily on his congratulatory statements praising the Senate vote.

At 7:50 p.m. EDT, about 40 minutes after the House of Representatives approved its budget plan that trims Obama’s $3.55 trillion budget proposal, the White House issued a statement from Obama praising the vote as “another step toward rebuilding our struggling economy.”

But appended to the bottom was another statement from Obama — who probably was asleep since he’s in London — that looked like the statement the White House planned to issue after the Senate votes on its own budget plan:

“Tonight, the Senate has joined the House of Representatives in taking an important step toward rebuilding our struggling economy. This budget resolution embraces our most fundamental priorities: an energy plan that will end our dependence on foreign oil and spur a new clean energy economy; an education system that will ensure our children will be able to compete in the economy of the 21st century; and health care reform that finally confronts the back-breaking costs plaguing families, businesses and government alike,” it said.

“And by making hard choices and challenging the old ways of doing business, we will cut in half the budget deficit we inherited within four years. With this vote comes an obligation to pursue our efforts to go through the budget line-by-line, searching for additional savings. Like the families we serve, we must cut the things we don’t need to invest in those we do.”

About 20 minutes later, the White House issued a revised statement with the words of praise for the House vote, and no mention of the yet-to-come Senate vote.

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- Photo credit: Reuters/John Voos (Obama during a news conference in London)

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