“Any president who is going to have more than 8 percent unemployment, with gas prices at $4.50 … right away, that makes him vulnerable. And on terrorism, while I do give him a lot of credit for getting [Osama] bin Laden, the fact is he has very mixed messages,” added Mr. King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.
The longtime congressman, whom some supporters have urged to seek the GOP nomination in 2012, said Thursday he hasn’t entirely ruled out that prospect.
“I’m not having any illusions or delusions right now, and I am focusing on re-election,” he said. “But I feel, you know, let’s see where this goes. … I haven’t got any plane reservations for Iowa or New Hampshire. But I’m not ruling it out.”
The Senate will not consider a budget plan until a bipartisan deficit-reduction group led by Vice President Joseph R. Biden completes its work, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad said Thursday.
Mr. Conrad’s decision could make it easier for Congress to pass any agreement the Biden group works out by allowing it to bypass the supermajority hurdle that frequently derails legislation in the Senate.
The North Dakota Democrat is tasked with presenting a budget plan that would set broad spending levels for the coming fiscal year, but he has had trouble coming up with a plan that would satisfy both liberal and moderate Democrats on the Budget Committee.
Even if he had come up with a bill that could pass the Senate, it was unlikely to take effect as it would have differed sharply from the budget plan that passed the Republican-controlled House of Representatives last month.
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