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Posted at 7:04 PM ET, 03/ 7/2011

Harry Reid says 'tea party' spending plan will cost U.S. jobs

By Felicia Sonmez

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) blasted House Republicans' $61 billion in proposed budget cuts, calling it a "tea party plan" that would cost the country hundreds of thousands of jobs.

"The Republican plan we'll vote on tomorrow is the same plan the tea party already pushed through the House," Reid said in a floor speech. "Now it's trying to push it through the Senate. But that plan will cost 700,000 Americans -- including 6,000 Nevadans -- their jobs, and I simply won't support it."

Reid's 700,000 figure draws from a projection by Moody's Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi last month of the job losses the GOP plan could bring about by the end of next year. Republicans have blasted Zandi's credibility, noting that he incorrectly projected that the administration's stimulus plan would keep unemployment below 8 percent.

The Senate is scheduled to vote Tuesday on House Republican and Senate Democratic budget proposals , and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) accused Democrats on Monday of having "already decided to fold up their tents."

It was "ludicrous," Mc­Con­nell said in his own floor speech, for Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) to suggest on "Fox News Sunday" that Democrats' proposal represents the maximum possible amount that could be cut responsibly.

"So far this fiscal year, Washington has spent nearly $650 billion more than it's taken in," McConnell said. "That's a little more than $4 billion a day that Washington is spending over and above what it has to spend. And Senator Durbin thinks Democrats in Congress have pushed the limits of responsibility by agreeing to cut $6 billion more for the entire year?"

McConnell added that it was his hope that Durbin "was speaking for himself and not for his entire conference."

The timing of Tuesday's votes had yet to be decided Monday night.

Reid on Monday urged lawmakers to vote in favor of Senate Democrats' plan, which would cut $6.5 billion from current spending levels. But he also openly acknowledged neither that plan nor the House-passed bill would likely make it through the Senate.

"We've all done the math and we all know how these votes will turn out: Neither proposal will pass, which means neither will reach the president's desk as written," Reid said. "We'll go back to square one and back to the negotiating table. But tomorrow's votes are still significant. ... They will show us which senators are serious about fortifying our long-term future, and which are more concerned with scoring short-term political points."

McConnell, meanwhile, also used his floor remarks to criticize the White House for not taking the first step toward reining in expensive entitlement programs, which the Kentucky Republican called "an even larger threat" than the day-to-day expenses Congress is currently battling over.

"In this case, one can't help but wonder if the president who came into office promising change has been changed by the office instead," McConnell said. "I hope I'm wrong about this. But all signs point toward inaction on the part of the White House. And in my view, this would be a tragic failure of leadership."

By Felicia Sonmez  | March 7, 2011; 7:04 PM ET
 
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Comments

The Republican proposal defunds Planned Parenthood. I guess they're in favor of unplanned parenthood.

Posted by: cwh2 | March 7, 2011 8:22 PM | Report abuse

I didn't realize that Planned Parenthood was a federal organization. Same for NPR/PBS and a host of other recipients of federal largess.

Face it, we don't have the money to spend on "nice-to-haves".

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | March 8, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Every time that anything is written pertaining to what Harry Reid and Dick Durbin has to say, I laugh! This has got to be two of most empty headed individuals ever. Idiots like them are whats wrong in our government today. They better be glad that I don't have the chance to cut the stupid spending in Washington. Our country is going down the tubes and all we get from idiots like them is whining and crying. They helped along with their other spend crazy democrats to put us into the mess that we are having to help deal with. Just pass bills and then we'll find out just how bad the American people have been duped. Our country has never faced the things that confronts us today and regardless of what the idiot in the white house claims, this all started when it was evident that he would become president in 2008. Things headed south and has not slowed down in the last two years. Look at our national debt and the idiot spending. They did not establish a budget because they did not know how to establish one nor how to adhere to one. We've got people coming to our country and now telling us how they want things done. Our supposedly leader can only agree with and support them. To Hell with America and the American people. Obama and his crony democrats couldn't operate a lemonade stand.

Posted by: tmay33 | March 8, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

"The Republican proposal defunds Planned Parenthood. I guess they're in favor of unplanned parenthood. " cwh2

Or the democrats favor killing more innocent unborm babies... That's much more accurate cwh2.

Posted by: FredZiffel | March 8, 2011 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Wow, the wingnuts arre out in force today promoting their hatred of humanity and education!

Posted by: trbajaz | March 8, 2011 5:33 PM | Report abuse

FredZiffel -

Planned Parenthood does not equal abortions- only uninformed, ignorant people jump to that conclusion. Ever been poor but still needed to get a yearly check-up? Have you had cramps that keep in bed crying but couldn't afford the birth control that would ease the pain? Do you want to pay for teens who have children because they don't have access to condoms, birth control, or even education about sex? Then stop jumping to conclusions and being hateful and ignorant.

Posted by: tigerlover37 | March 9, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

******************QUESTION!********************

Is Obama simply an indecisive George W Bush?

Posted by: wheeljc | March 9, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

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