With Friday's announcement that the White House and Congressional leaders had struck a deal to balance the budget by the year 20002, the House Budget Committee must now put the ideas in writing and before the House. The question is what will the rank and file members do when faced with this proposal. This week we ask two freshmen members.
Our forum guests this week are Reps. Jim Gibbons (R-NV) and Julia Carson (D-IN). Both Members participated in a past forum on March 12. Congresswoman Carson has been extremely active since then sponsoring or co-sponsoring several amendments to H.R. 2, a bill to completely overhaul the way public housing is run. Carson worked to ensure certain guidelines were followed while also giving local communities more control over how the program is run in their community.
Representative Gibbons has worked extensively on issues surrounding the storage of nuclear waste at the Yucca Mountain site. He has spoken on the floor of the House several times so far in opposition to the move. "What legitimate excuse, then, could justify the moving of nuclear waste from on-site storage, placing the health, welfare, and safety of many citizens in jeopardy?" Gibbons asked on April 29th. "There are still many environmental and safety concerns that must be addressed before we move forward and mandate an unsafe permanent or interim nuclear waste storage facility at Yucca Mountain."
Our forum asked: How will the members vote? Are the right issues being addressed in this budget? Is too much being sacrificed at the balanced budget altar? Does the Budget Deal reflect what these members want?