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Jim Nussle

US Rep. Jim Nussle (R) of Iowa, chairman of the House Budget Committee, was Thursday's guest. Here are excerpts from his remarks:

On President Bush's budget proposals:

"New starts during a freeze time are not what we should be working on.... As far as I am concerned, that means things like going to Mars are not on the table this year."

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On his committee's plan to freeze domestic discretionary spending and trim Bush's military spending plans:

"I don't believe this is as bold as we could be - certainly not as bold as I would want to be. However, this is based on listening to [the views of] members."

On the prospects that his plan will be adopted:

"Clearly, it's going to be very tough. Do I have the votes today? No."

On Senate Appropriations chair Ted Stevens saying he would ignore budget caps:

"If people want to play games ... they have obviously not been home lately to listen to their constituents."

On whether the budget deficit is a political issue:

"There isn't anybody in Iowa that is wringing their hands around their kitchen table saying, 'Gosh, honey, I am really worried about this federal deficit.' "

On how the president is doing politically in Iowa:

"Forty-two percent [in the latest Des Moines Register poll] isn't too bad for a state that didn't go for him the last time."

An expanded report is available at: capitol/