Surely Obama Could Put Forward A Plan To Cut 3% From A $3.5 Trillion Budget
- Create tens of thousands of jobs
- Lift our economy
- Help keep down the cost of fuel
- Reduce our dependence on Middle Eastern oil, and
- Raise hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues to address our nation’s deficit and debt — all without a single penny of taxpayer money and with better environmental stewardship than if we don’t build the project." ~ U.S. Senator John Hoeven (R-ND)
Both the House and the Senate return today and will reconvene at 2 PM. The House has a minimum issue to take up, the renaming the Dryden Flight Research Center as the Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center and the Western Aeronautical Test Range as the Hugh L. Dryden Aeronautical Test Range. Expect the House leadership to again address the need for the government to cut spending.
The Senate will at 5 PM, the Senate will take up the nomination of Robert E. Bacharach to be United States Circuit Judge for the Tenth Circuit which has no major opposition and the will vote to confirm at 5:30 pm. Tomorrow, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is expected to call for another cloture vote on the Hagel nomination as Secretary of Defense.
Over the weekend, the White House continued its scare tactics and campaigning on the sequester, playing the blame game in lieu of proposing smarter cuts. According to Reuters, “Obama will travel to Newport News, Virginia, on Tuesday to a shipbuilding plant owned by Huntington Ingalls Industries to highlight the impact . . . . The trip is the latest in a series of events staged by the White House to try to pin the blame for the looming cuts on congressional Republicans.”
So once again, pinning political blame on Republicans appears to be a higher priority for President Obama than finding any sort of serious policy solution. And of course, the president’s finger pointing at Republicans isn’t even accurate in the first place.
Here’s what he won’t be telling you:
This is President Obama’s sequester. “The idea for sequestration did come from the White House, as news accounts made clear at the time,” reports the New York Times. As Speaker Boehner wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “it is a product of the president's own failed leadership.”
Republicans passed a bill with smarter spending cuts (twice), but the president’s Senate hasn’t passed it (or any other replacement bill). Senate Democrats haven’t passed a budget in four years either. The House voted to replace the president’s sequester in May 2012 and again last December. Each bill targeted waste and fraud, and would help put us on a path to balance the budget in 10 years
Government spending is the problem. No one should be talking about raising taxes when the FAA spends $500 million a year on consultants; the EPA has sent more than $100 million in grants to foreign countries; the IRS has a $4 million-a-year TV studio; and more.
The president’s relentless campaigning has left him “virtually absent” from the legislative process. If the president were serious about replacing his sequester, he’d cancel his “endless campaign” events this week and devote his schedule to pressing his Democratic-controlled Senate to finally pass something.
Veteran journalist Bob Woodward said the president is “moving the goal posts” when calling for even higher taxes. And claiming otherwise is a “classic case of distortion and confusion.” President Obama got more than $600 billion in tax hikes last month (with no spending cuts). We don’t need higher taxes; we need to address Washington’s spending problem.
Bob Woodward called out the White House this weekend for presenting a distorted version of events surrounding the genesis of sequestration. Woodward wrote, “The president and [White House chief of staff Jack] Lew had this wrong. My extensive reporting for my book ‘The Price of Politics’ shows that the automatic spending cuts were initiated by the White House and were the brainchild of Lew and White House congressional relations chief Rob Nabors — probably the foremost experts on budget issues in the senior ranks of the federal government. Obama personally approved of the plan for Lew and Nabors to propose the sequester to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). They did so at 2:30 p.m. July 27, 2011, according to interviews with two senior White House aides who were directly involved. Nabors has told others that they checked with the president before going to see Reid. A mandatory sequester was the only action-forcing mechanism they could devise. Nabors has said, ‘We didn’t actually think it would be that hard to convince them’ — Reid and the Republicans — to adopt the sequester. ‘It really was the only thing we had. There was not a lot of other options left on the table.’”
More important than the president’s endless campaigning and blame shifting, though, are the facts of a $16.6 trillion debt and four straight years of budget deficits exceeding $1 trillion. Americans have demanded the government address this serious problem, and spending must be cut. The choice Washington has is to come up with a smarter, more targeted way to cut spending, by focusing first on government waste, or President Obama’s way of the sequester (which he now finds so objectionable).
In the Weekly Republican Address on Saturday, Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) shared his frustration with the above detailed situation: “For the better part of the week, President Obama has been traveling and giving interviews on the consequences of the sequester, which is an across-the-board cut in federal discretionary spending. . . . The fact is: Republicans in Congress, right now, will provide the flexibility to make the necessary spending reductions and address our deficit and debt, instead of going through the sequester. In fact, House Republicans have already passed two bills to replace the President’s sequester. So the question is: Why won’t he work with us? And the answer, quite simply, is because he wants higher taxes.”
As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said yesterday, “What we still don’t know is whether the President has a plan for smarter, more commonsense cuts to the waste and endless growth in Washington. Surely he can put forward a plan to cut 2-to-3 percent from a $3.5 trillion budget. Rather than issuing last-minute press releases on cuts to first responders or troop training or airport security, he should propose smarter ways to cut Washington spending. After all, Washington spending, even with the sequester, is bigger than it was when he got here. There are smarter ways to reduce the size of government. And with the national debt well over $16 trillion dollars, it’s time for the White House to stop spending all its time campaigning, and start finding smarter ways to reduce the deficit.”
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