Rebellion Against Huge Federal Budet
Demands From Country to Hold Down Spending
The biggest budget in the peacetime history of the United States, proposed by President Eisenhower for the fiscal year starting next July 1, has stirred up a storm of criticism. Members of Congress report that they are being inundated by demands from constituents for steep cuts in government outlays. A statutory limit on federal spending and other measures to put a tighter rein on expenditures are therefore receiving more serious consideration than at any time since early New Deal days.
The budget for fiscal 1958 calls for expenditures of $71.8 billion—almost $3 billion more than the total estimated for the present fiscal year. Soon after the budget was submitted to Congress last Jan. 16, Sen. William F. Knowland of California, Republican floor leader, urged a $2 billion cut. The chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, Styles Bridges of New Hampshire, advocated a $3.3 billion cut, and the House Republican Policy Committee demanded a “substantial reduction.” Sen. Harry Flood Byrd (D-Va.), chairman of the Joint Committee on Reduction of Nonessential Federal Expenditures and the Senate Finance Committee, came out for a $5 billion slash.
Half a hundred House Republicans announced on Mar. 5 that they would support a resolution to limit federal spending in fiscal 1958 to $65 billion, or $6.8 billion less than proposed by the President. Two weeks later the Senate Government Operations Committee approved a bill, sponsored by 71 senators, to create a Senate-House budget committee “to provide for more effective evaluation of the fiscal requirements of the executive agencies of the government.” Such a bill has passed the Senate three times only to die in the House. Continued opposition by House Appropriations Committee leaders is expected this year notwithstanding economy demands.