President Clinton criticized the new Congress Saturday for proposals aimed at cutting spending for education programs, saying in his weekly radio address they were wrong.
"In the past, education and training have enjoyed broad bipartisan support," Clinton said. "Now in this new Congress, some want to cut education - and that's wrong."He cited proposals to cut spending on programs such as Head Start, school lunches and college loans. "These are not wise proposals," Clinton said.
Clinton made his address from the Gibbs International Studies and Foreign Languages Magnet School for children in kindergarten through grade six in Little Rock.
Outside the school he was greeted by supporters who chanted "save school lunches" and waved styrofoam plates stating "no lunch cuts."
Clinton said some in Congress want to cut education programs to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy. "Many in Congress think there's no difference in education and other spending," Clinton said.
In the Republican response to the radio address, Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire criticized Clinton's budget, saying it would mean annual deficits of $200 billion.
Republicans in Congress will in the next few weeks "propose a budget that will become balanced," Gregg said.
"We will accomplish this by slowing the rate of growth of the federal government, by giving our seniors more choice in their health care, by giving our state more control over their welfare programs and our citizens a smaller and more efficient government," Gregg said.
He also said he did not understand the "hoopla" made by Clinton over Haiti.
"All we seem to have done is go into a defenseless little island, replace one bunch of thugs with another group of thugs, and spent a billion and a half dollars of our money doing it," Gregg said.