DALLAS -- President Bush stepped up his attacks on Congress yesterday for the impasse over the federal budget and warned that he is prepared to shut down the government once more if the lawmakers prove unable to come up with a budget plan that he finds acceptable by Friday.
"This Friday, time's up," Mr. Bush said, referring to the day that the current stopgap spending authority, which he signed on Columbus Day, runs out. Mr. Bush made his remarks as he embarked on a two-day political tour to Texas and the Midwest. Mr. Bush sidestepped questions about specifically what sort of budget plan he would support.
He did say, however, that for the moment, at least, he favors a plan drafted by the Senate Finance Committee that would avoid a proposed 2-cent-a-gallon tax on home heating oil and would raise federal gasoline taxes by 9 1/2 cents a gallon.
House Speaker Thomas S. Foley, D-Wash., immediately retorted that Mr. Bush is "intimately connected here with what comes forward in the way of a solution to this budget" and "will bear full responsibility" for any government shutdown.