House Republicans: Obama, Democrats not leading on budget
Updated: 2:35 p.m.
House Republican leaders on Tuesday sought to contrast their plan to cut $61 billion from the remainder of this year's budget with the $3.7 trillion federal budget for next year rolled out by President Obama on Monday.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) took aim at Obama's budget proposal, which he argued "will destroy jobs by spending too much, taxing too much, and borrowing too much," adding that the House Republican cuts are "focused on creating a better environment for economic growth and job creation."
"There are more cuts to come, in contrast to the Obama Administration's request to increase the national debt limit and keep the spending binge going," Boehner said.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) charged that not only does Obama's budget not deal with the fact that the government is borrowing nearly 40 cents of every dollar that it spends, it "makes it even worse, and by making the spending and borrowing situation even worse, it makes it tougher for job creators to get back into the game."
"Where is Nancy Pelosi?" Cantor asked later. "Where is Harry Reid? They have failed to even begin to offer a coherent vision forward."
Democrats responded by turning the focus on House Republicans, arguing that they haven't lived up to their claims of fiscal responsibility.
"Democrats don't need lectures from Republicans on fiscal responsibility," Reid spokesperson Jon Summers said in a statement. "We turned a deficit into a surplus under President Clinton, and Republicans squandered it right back into a record deficit. When it comes to cutting spending, the question is not who can cut the most without regard for the consequences, but who can cut the smartest."
Cantor spokesperson Brad Dayspring responded that Reid "was a chief architect of one of the largest government spending sprees in the history of man, and though he and Senator Schumer haven't made any serious effort thus far, before long they'll have to recognize that there is a bipartisan desire to start getting our fiscal House in order so that people can get back to work. Less spending equals more jobs."
The back-and-forth echoed the heated debate Tuesday morning in a meeting of the House Budget Committee, where White House Budget Director Jack Lew defended Obama's budget as Republicans accused the White House of ignoring the recommendations of his own deficit commission.
Meanwhile, on the House floor, lawmakers were hotly debating the Republican-led spending-cut plan, which is expected to come up for a final vote on Thursday. More than 400 amendments to the measure had been offered as of Monday night; lawmakers can submit more amendments by the close of business Tuesday.
Republicans have hailed the open process as proof of their commitment to letting the House "work its will." Democrats sought to portray the high number of amendments as evidence of disagreement among Republicans over the spending plan, noting that of the 403 amendments offered so far, 262 have been offered by Republicans while 141 have are by Democrats.
"I'm interested in seeing this process play out," House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday at his weekly pen-and-pad briefing when asked about the floor debate over the funding resolution.
| February 15, 2011; 1:10 PM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency
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