Bush budget still in transition

The statutory deadline has passed, but the White House still hasn't released the traditional transition budget for fiscal 2002. And President Bush will not release a full, line-item budget for Congress to evaluate until April, a spokesman said Monday.

By law, the president must submit a budget to Congress by the first Monday in February.

Bush will start by sending his new tax package to Capitol Hill on Thursday. The Office of Management and Budget will figure the tax package into the overall budget. Only then will a transition budget be sent out, said Ari Fleischer, White House press secretary, in a briefing Monday.

Since last June, OMB has been working on a transition budget that will serve as a placeholder for the new administration until policy and priorities are determined. This transition budget consists of a technical presentation of current services, an economic update, and a program update, with narrative information usually included in the main budget, according to OMB.

Finally, in April, Bush will submit to Congress the "big, thick phone book worth of statistics and facts," Fleischer said.

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