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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Republicans: Time To Fight For Meaningful Spending Cuts

Today In Washington, D.C. - Feb. 6, 2012:
The Senate is not in session today and will reconvene on Thursday to resume consideration of S. 47, the Violence Against Women Act.

The House was in session today. It passed (253 - 167) shortly after noon, H.R. 444, a bill requiring the President to submit balanced budget. It would require that, if the President's fiscal year 2014 budget does not achieve balance in a fiscal year covered by such budget, the President shall submit a supplemental unified budget by April 1, 2013, which identifies a fiscal year in which balance is achieved, and for other purposes. The House has adjourned until Friday, Feb 8th.

Yesterday House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) discussed President Obama and Senate Democrats’ failure to offer a serious budget or plan to replace the president’s sequester, and highlighted the action House Republicans are taking to hold them accountable. Following is the text of Speaker Boehner’s remarks:

“You know, every month under President Obama kind of feels the same: high unemployment, rising prices, and more debt for our kids and our grandkids. And if government spending were what the president believes creates economic growth, we shouldn’t be having any of these problems at all.

“Solving America’s problem starts with what every family does every month: they’ve got to do a budget. But the president’s budget is late again. Senate Democrats haven’t done a budget in nearly four years. And none of them have a plan to replace the ‘sequester.’

“That’s why Republicans passed the No Budget, No Pay Act to force Senate Democrats to finally take action. And it’s why we’re going to pass Tom Price’s bill that would require the president to submit a plan that would actually balance the budget. And the sooner we solve our spending problem, the sooner our jobs problem will go away as well.”
Yesterday, Ginger Gibson on Politico quoted a source from a private meeting of Republicans. “Nobody said cutting spending would be easy, we need to fight,” McConnell told Republicans on Tuesday, according to a source with knowledge of the statement. She said, "The rallying cry from McConnell came on the same day President Barack Obama laid out his plan to delay the sequester, which would involve new tax revenue coupled with spending cuts. The Republican leader is urging fellow Republicans to put up more of a fight on upcoming spending battles, including on sequestration."

It’s clear getting any serious spending cuts out of President Obama and Democrats who run the Senate will be difficult, given that they act as if every dime of government spending is sacred and are already trying to curtail spending cuts that are scheduled to go into effect soon. Consider the state of denial Democrats appear to be in over the nature of our spending problem. Last year, the president actually told House Speaker John Boehner that “[w]e don’t have a spending problem.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has complained that “there is more to making our economy recover than just continually harping on what is going on with spending.” And when asked in January by CBS News’ Bob Scheiffer, “Do you then agree with the Republican leader in the Senate, Mr. McConnell, who says we're done now with the taxing side of it; now we have to concentrate on spending? Is that done now?” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi simply replied, “No.”

And of course yesterday President Obama already started trying to avoid the spending cuts that his White House came up with. The New York Times writes today, “Trying to gain the upper hand in the latest fiscal clash, Mr. Obama said Congress should delay the reductions for at least a few months to give lawmakers a chance to negotiate a full deficit reduction package that permanently resolves the threat of a so-called sequester. . . . Mr. Obama, who missed a deadline this week to submit his annual budget to Congress, acknowledged on Tuesday that a broader deficit agreement is unlikely to be reached by the March deadline.” But of course, the president’s ideas boiled down to yet more tax hikes.

notes, “Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell had a different view. ‘If Democrats have ideas for smarter cuts, they should bring them up for debate . . ." He Noted  that the GOP-controlled House already has produced an alternative. ‘But the American people will not support more tax hikes in place of the meaningful spending reductions both parties already agreed to and the president signed into law,’ McConnell said, a reference to legislation earlier this year that raised taxes at upper incomes by $600 billion.

McConnell's office noted that the Senate's top Republican leader proposed ‘more than $100 billion in bipartisan spending reductions’ in last winter's talks, some related to Medicare. All were rejected by the administration, the statement added, including a $30 billion item that tracked a proposal Obama had advanced requiring wealthier Medicare beneficiaries to pay more for their care.”

As McConnell wrote in an Reuters this week, “President Barack Obama pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. But because he focused on political gimmicks, rather than real reform, we’ve seen trillion-dollar deficits and nearly $6 trillion added to the debt instead. Based on what we heard from the president at a news conference Tuesday, his unserious attitude is likely to continue. . . . No one ever said tackling these challenges would be easy. It won’t be. But so far Democrats have been almost totally unwilling to engage meaningfully in the process. They’ve scheduled no hearings on the sequester or the debt ceiling, and have announced no plans for real solutions. . . . So, instead of reflexively calling for higher tax increases (even if the president got virtually every tax hike he asked for in his last budget, we still wouldn’t come close to solving our long-term challenges), it’s time for Democrats to finally work with us to shine a light into every corner of the budget so that we can root out waste. Rather than continually turning to gimmicks, we could get more done if the president would engage seriously with both parties to develop real reforms.”

Tags: Washington, D.C. Spending cuts, time to fight, HR 444, President, submit balanced budget, sequestration To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 2:22 PM - Post Link


Anonymous Byron Lee Gann said...

The President has the audacity to ask for more tax increases and meaningful cuts in spending. He just got a Tax increase and refuses to discuss cuts of any kind. Obama is a bad joke.


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