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Posted at 3:07 PM ET, 02/18/2011

Conservative budget amendment fails House amid fissure among Republicans

By Felicia Sonmez

Updated at 3 p.m.:

A conservative budget proposal that would have cut an additional $22 billion across federal agencies on top of the $61 billion in cuts already proposed by House Republicans failed the House Friday amid sharp disagreements among Republicans over just how far Congress should go in seeking to rein in federal spending.

More than 90 Republicans voted against the amendment, sponsored by Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (Ohio).

The final 147 to 281 vote saw members of the House Republican leadership splitting their votes, with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) voting against the measure and Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.) and Republican Caucus Chairman Jeb Hensarling (Texas) voting in favor.

The measure would have achieved its $22 billion in additional cuts by making trims of 11 percent across the legislative branch and of 5.5 percent to all other non-security accounts, not including U.S. aid to Israel.

In 45 minutes of debate Friday afternoon that exposed sharp disagreements within the GOP, at least 10 Republicans spoke out in favor of the amendment, all of them members of the RSC. Roughly an equal number of Republicans took to the floor to oppose the amendment; half of them were members of the RSC, whose membership includes more than 170 conservative House Republicans. All of the Democrats who spoke during Friday's floor debate opposed the RSC amendment.

The Republican-vs.-Republican dynamic of the debate led to a few direct confrontations.

California Republican Rep. Dan Lungren, who warned earlier Friday that the amendment would "paralyze" the U.S. Capitol Police, was greeted with applause from opponents of the RSC amendment after arguing that "across-the-board cuts are a lazy member's way to achieve something."

He was rebutted immediately by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), an RSC member who had brought the amendment to the floor on Jordan's behalf.

"I would take issue with saying any member of this house is lazy or that this is a lazy process," Blackburn said, contending that "26 states have used across-the-board cuts to get their fiscal house in order."

Georgia Republican Rep. Jack Kingston described himself as a "proud RSC member" who opposed the amendment because he argued that an across-the-board cut would put Obama administration officials in charge of the decision-making on how to cut.

"I've got to say to my conservative friends, when you cut across the board, who do you think is going to be in charge of where these cuts come from?" Kingston asked.

Illinois Republican Rep. Joe Walsh backed the deep cuts called for by the amendment, noting that his brother sent him a text message Thursday night to say, "Keep the cuts comin', baby!" Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) also defended the measure.

"What we're doing here is a rounding error compared to what we're going to have to do with entitlement spending," Flake said.

Meanwhile, Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.) said he opposed the amendment because he didn't want national security funds to be subjected to an across-the-board cut. The next two speakers were both Republicans, one who supported the measure and another who opposed it.

Then Jordan spoke out in support of his own amendment. "If we don't do this, our future for our kids and our grandkids is diminished," he said.

He was followed by three Republicans -- Reps. Kay Granger (Texas), Tom Latham (Iowa) and Jo Ann Emerson (Mo.) -- who opposed the amendment.

"I realize it's a well-intentioned effort, but it goes too far," Emerson said.

Democrats took their share of shots at the amendment, too. Virginia Democratic Rep. Jim Moran called it "irresponsible" and "imbalanced."

"This amendment would commit this country to an economic death spiral," Moran said.

Washington Democratic Rep. Norm Dicks, ranking member on the Appropriations Committee, criticized the amendment as "misguided," arguing that it would cut spending indiscriminately.

"This is a meat-axe approach on top of a meat-axe approach. It's a double-meat-axe approach," Dicks said.

The opposition to the RSC amendment was striking in light of the emphasis House Republicans have given to making deep cuts to federal spending in the wake of their victory in the November midterms. A vote on the entire resolution funding the federal government may be pushed into the weekend as lawmakers debate hundreds of amendments.

This post has been updated since it was first published.

By Felicia Sonmez  | February 18, 2011; 3:07 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

Dream on bflat. Your perception seems a tad biased lol.

Posted by: antiquepaper1 | February 19, 2011 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Keep the cuts coming. I wish the Democrats had this many fights about the disastrous health care bill they Rahmed through. I wish the Democrats had stuck up for the Republicans like Republicans have expressed concerns about Democrats input on bills.

The process is working. People elected Republicans to make adult decisions, I hope they keep making them.

Posted by: bflat879 | February 18, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

There is a very easy solution for all these Republican cuts: Eliminate Social Security and Medicare benefits next week for all Republican benefit recipients. Vote next week, then attach a rider bill that ROLLS BACK THE TAX BREAK FOR THE WEALTHY. Stupid hypocrites!

Posted by: Rlupodimare | February 18, 2011 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Refreshing is it not?
-A party that has individual thought VS Nancy-speak.
-New Congress Members willing to do what is needed VS worry about elections.
Should be interesting to watch the Senate Majority squeal and moan knowing that to fail to cut the deficts will be laid at their sorry feet.

Posted by: NeoConVeteran | February 18, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

It is apparent the Slash and Burn members of the GOP have no clue as to the disastrous effects of what they are proposing. Instead of taking the Elephant by the tusks, and raising taxes on the very rich, who have not "created jobss", but rather bought more assets, and banked their profits, they choose to strip the citizens with no voice (they are not GOP financial contributors) of what little safety net they have, and then propose laying off over 200,000 federal and other workers, by "shrinking government, and eliminating their jobs. There are so many ways of reducing the deficit, as many posting here have suggested. Unfortunately, those suggestions would require goring some of the GOP's most treasured oxen, which is not on the table, so the working Americans are now at risk. If the economy goes into another recession, or worse, because of their lack of understanding of the consequences of their slash and burn techniques, our GOP legislators and their supporters will not suffer, they have their income their health insurance, and their secure jobs.
If the economy takes a substantial downturn it does not matter, as Job 1, shrinking the Federal Government will still happen.

Posted by: ATC444 | February 18, 2011 7:07 PM | Report abuse

They are simply reaping what they sowed... the Republicans undoubtedly expected that cutting education, police, fire, homeland security, child protective services, prisons, defense and other vital services would allow them to retain what's important to them such as pet projects like Boehner's engine. I guess there just isn't much more for them to take away from middle class and poor US citizens and now, well the rich might just have to break a fingernail. It seems they might have to back off on favors to campaign contributors. Like I said, they reap what they sowed...

Posted by: deborahjbrown | February 18, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

They are simply reaping what they sowed... the Republicans undoubtedly expected that cutting education, police, fire, homeland security, child protective services, prisons, defense and other vital services would allow them to retain what's important to them such as pet projects like Boehner's engine. I guess there just isn't much more for them to take away from middle class and poor US citizens and now, well the rich might just have to break a fingernail. It seems they might have to back off on favors to campaign contributors. Like I said, they reap what they sowed...

Posted by: deborahjbrown | February 18, 2011 5:45 PM | Report abuse

They are simply reaping what they sowed... the Republicans undoubtedly expected that cutting education, police, fire, homeland security, child protective services, prisons, defense and other vital services would allow them to retain what's important to them such as pet projects like Boehner's engine. I guess there just isn't much more for them to take away from middle class and poor US citizens and now, well the rich might just have to break a fingernail. It seems they might have to back off on favors to campaign contributors. Like I said, they reap what they sowed...

Posted by: deborahjbrown | February 18, 2011 5:44 PM | Report abuse

The GOP can say they want to save money, but don't want to do it at their or their earmarks expense. Eliminate federal subsidies to oil and coal. Another is the farm subsidy whereby wealthy ranchers and agricultural companies are paid not to plant crops. Eliminate the Bureau of Land Management. They waste taxpayer money. Eliminate Halliburton and open contracts to individual contractors. I must still ask wht BP Oil is still making a pipeline from Alberta Canada to the Gulf and drilling for methane gas in the Rockies after their catastrope in the Gulf. Where's the money from BP to restore the Gulf and peoples lives affected by the spill. One petition I signed re the oil spill was directed to Hillary Clinton. I think Hillary and BP struck a deal. Where's the justice to the people from Katrina and the BP spill? As soon as it's off front page news, the politicians relax.

Posted by: dalemust | February 18, 2011 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Best thing that could happen for the United States voters. Let the right-wingers fight amongst themselves.

So far the 112th Congress has not passed one single positive bill.

The American people deserve much better than the right-wing politicians and blathering media minions promise.

Posted by: PoliticalPrisoner2012 | February 18, 2011 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Best thing that could happen for the United States voters. Let the right-wingers fight amongst themselves.

So far the 112th Congress has not passed one single positive bill.

The American people deserve much better than the right-wing politicians and blathering media minions promise.

Posted by: PoliticalPrisoner2012 | February 18, 2011 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Hey Tea Party Supporters,

You shoulda known you were sending the Lazy Moochers to DC when they were interested in making ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS PER YEAR ($174,000/year) from YOUR TAX DOLLARs for working PART TIME and actually being LAZY at work! Oh yeah, for nice health insurance and other PERC packages, too!

Posted by: kishorgala | February 18, 2011 4:57 PM | Report abuse

We seem to have gravitated from "talk among yourselves" to "fight among yourselves". Meatheads armed with meat-axes trying to balance the budget. More people will suffer, and there'll still be no jobs. Good luck, and God help the people of the United States.

Posted by: sober1 | February 18, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

The Tea heads are toast! The center will not be held hostage by a bunch of crazy fundies who want to turn America into a theocracy. Sayonara and take you little dogma with you!

Posted by: braultrl | February 18, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Okay, Republicans. Here's something to think about: Tax revenues are down, and the reason is actually pretty clear. Money isn't moving through the economy. Jobless people don't move much money, and we've got a lot of them these days. If they were working--and some of the current unemployed had good jobs--they'd be spending and they'd be paying taxes, and the tax revenue would increase even if rates were unchanged. So why aren't these people working? It's pretty simple. You approved the Bush tax cuts on what he liked to call his base--the wealthiest Americans--because that was going to stimulate job growth. But the wealthy haven't created jobs. Corporations are sitting on record amounts and not creating jobs.
If you want to take a step toward solving this country's economic problems, you'll see to it that jobs are created. That is your most important job for the next two years.

Posted by: amstphd | February 18, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

What does it say about the Republican Party that it can't come up with a better Congressional leader than Boehner or McConnell?

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | February 18, 2011 4:33 PM | Report abuse

They got theirs. So they have become lazy.

Across the board cuts are easy to propose. Anything more thoughtful will require work.

And the Lazy don't want to work. Not that the lazies are capable of complex thinking anyways. It is Power, baby, Power.

Posted by: kishorgala | February 18, 2011 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Religious minds are allergic to thinking. Religious minds are lazy minds.

Posted by: rolandberger | February 18, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Religious minds are allergic to thinking. Religious minds are lazy minds.

Posted by: rolandberger | February 18, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

If both sides keep it up - the citizens may just decide to hold a recall election and send the whole lot to early or late retirement. They are hurting all the programs they shouldn't and saving the ones that need to be dealt with. Of course, they are getting donations from all the corporations/lobbyists that benefit from having certain things kept the way they are.

"Off with their heads", said the Queen, in Alice in Wonderland.

Posted by: elbryah1 | February 18, 2011 4:19 PM | Report abuse

What are we to make of this? That rationality and common sense has broken out in the midst of Republican ranks?
Maybe there's hope if Tea Party blind ideology simply will not manage to trump a cold-eyed survey of potential damage to the economy, security and other concerns.
If Congress would low key their ideological stances and high key their attention to facts, real (as opposed to "voodoo") math, and strike a balance between keeping the economic recovery going and also gradually reducing the deficit the country might just get back on an even keel.

John Patrick Grace
Huntington, West Virginia

Posted by: publishersplace | February 18, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

While these freaking Blue meanie geniuses battle over what axe to chop with and where the people continue to suffer. And while they chop away with great abandon and zeal they all have the comfort knowing that their health care is in place and is excellent. There is a level in hell for the entire lot of them, and purgatory is not one.

Posted by: leonh741 | February 18, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are doing a good job of proving that we have a revenue problem not a spending problem. Hey boy and girls, the Bush tax cuts cost the treasury over $250 Billion a year in lost revenue. Despite Obama spending "like a drunken sailor" as the Republican allege, the Republicans can't even come up with enough cuts to even begin to offset the Bush tax cuts. Now about those wars.... Even if the Republican manage to cut 100 Billion a year what about the other $1.4 Trillion deficit?

Posted by: chucko2 | February 18, 2011 3:16 PM |

~~~

Which is the main reason they want to go after SS entitlements, Medicare, Medicaid, HC Reform, Dept., of Education, Federal Agencies, Federal Employees, State Workers, etc., etc., etc.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | February 18, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are doing a good job of proving that we have a revenue problem not a spending problem. Hey boy and girls, the Bush tax cuts cost the treasury over $250 Billion a year in lost revenue. Despite Obama spending "like a drunken sailor" as the Republican allege, the Republicans can't even come up with enough cuts to even begin to offset the Bush tax cuts. Now about those wars.... Even if the Republican manage to cut 100 Billion a year what about the other $1.4 Trillion deficit?

Posted by: chucko2 | February 18, 2011 3:16 PM |

~~~

Which is the main reason they want to go after SS entitlements, Medicare, Medicaid, HC Reform, Dept., of Education, Federal Agencies, Federal Employees, State Workers, etc., etc., etc.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | February 18, 2011 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Cut now!...no time to consider the consequences!...cut!...cut!...worthy programs, unworthy programs - who cares!...cut now!...don't touch Exxon, Chevron, Raytheon, Lockheed!...cut now!...efficient programs, inefficient programs - who cares!...cut now!...tax cuts for millionaires - sacred!, nutrition and immunizations for children - cut now!, cut now!

Posted by: merko | February 18, 2011 3:40 PM | Report abuse

It would be much easier to repeal the tax cuts for the rich! We could also withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq immediately - that would save an incredible amount of money. But no - these a#%holes have to keep playing their stupid games just to keep the Tea Party happy. I've got an even better idea - just repeal Congress!! Just think how much better off we'd be then!

Posted by: aandd | February 18, 2011 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I've got news for the extremist Republican party:


Now that you have some actual power again (the House) you won't be able to get away with spending all of your time throwing verbal bombs at the Dems, going golfing and then hitting the DC cocktail circuit at night every day.


You either CREATE JOBS or you will be gone in 2012 so fast that your heads will spin.


Chop chop, Repugs!


You've got two years!


Time's a wastin'!

.

Posted by: DrainYou | February 18, 2011 3:23 PM | Report abuse

The Greatest Show on Earth, featuring the GOP.

I presume they are going to be deaf on the jobs issue until 2012 when the, too, can go the way of the Democratic majority. Maybe the Democrats will get it this time. This GOP bunch are hell bent on not thinking through anything.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | February 18, 2011 3:20 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are doing a good job of proving that we have a revenue problem not a spending problem. Hey boy and girls, the Bush tax cuts cost the treasury over $250 Billion a year in lost revenue. Despite Obama spending "like a drunken sailor" as the Republican allege, the Republicans can't even come up with enough cuts to even begin to offset the Bush tax cuts. Now about those wars.... Even if the Republican manage to cut 100 Billion a year what about the other $1.4 Trillion deficit?

Posted by: chucko2 | February 18, 2011 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Reading these silly arguments about across-the-board cuts, I am reminded that you can lose weight quickly, and keep it off, by removing your legs!

Why don't we lay off the Air Force? Save a bundle, and no thought required.

Posted by: OldUncleTom | February 18, 2011 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"44: The Obama Presidency
The latest White House news from the Post's political team."


What are the Republicans doing today Felicia?

Posted by: FoundingMother | February 18, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

.


WHERE ARE THE JOBS, REPUGS ?!?!


.

Posted by: DrainYou | February 18, 2011 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Douchacracy - Rule by Douchbags.

Posted by: Aerowaz | February 18, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse

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