"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Still No Plan To Cut Spending From Senate Democrats; Still No Leadership From WH

March 3rd, 2011 by mopns · No Comments

 

Yesterday, President Obama signed a bill keeping the government funding for two weeks that cuts spending by $4 billion after it passed both the House and Senate with large bipartisan majorities. Speaking on the Senate floor today, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell observed, “We’ve insisted on shrinking the size of government. And yesterday we delivered, by forcing the first actual cut in government spending in recent memory. While it was just a small, first step, yesterday we showed it’s possible to change the status quo in Washington. Not bad.”

Of course, this is only the beginning, and now it’s time to begin work on a bill to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year, since Democrats failed to do so last year. But Republicans don’t run the government, and eyes naturally fell on the president to see if he would lead. Leader McConnell hasn’t seen much initiative from the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue yet. He said today, “The White House responded to all this by announcing they wanted to have a meeting. And Republicans are happy to go. But putting a meeting on the schedule doesn’t change the fact that neither the White House nor a single Democrat in Congress has proposed a plan that would allow the government to remain open and that would respond to the voters by reining in spending.”

After he signed the short-term bill yesterday, President Obama said in a statement, “I’m calling on Democratic and Republican leaders of Congress to begin meeting immediately with the Vice President, my Chief of Staff, and Budget Director so we can find common ground on a budget that makes sure we are living within our means.”

Saying that this country must live within its means is an audacious statement coming from a president who championed an $814 billion failed stimulus bill, all of which was paid for with deficit spending. It’s audacious coming from an administration that is leading the country into another consecutive year with a deficit over a trillion dollars. And it’s audacious coming from a White House that proposed a budget for the following fiscal year that grows the debt to $20 trillion in five years and never once in a decade spends less than it’s taking in.

Meanwhile, Democrats, who control the Senate, still have not put forward a budget to deal with the rest of the current fiscal year, while they complain about the budget the House has produced. The New York Times writes today, “Republican leaders said they were already in talks with Democrats and the White House but would take part in budget meetings if they were invited. They noted that the Republican-led House had passed a $61 billion package of cuts covering the remaining seven months of the current fiscal year while the Democratic-controlled Senate had not produced any legislation beyond passing the temporary budget measure drafted by the House. ‘The House’s position is: We passed a bill. It’s out there,’ Speaker John A. Boehner said. ‘And I think it’s time for them to outline for us what’s their position to keep the government funded. We’ve done our work in the House.’”

The Times notes, “Contending with sharp internal splits about how far to go in cutting spending and a reluctance to show their hand, Senate Democrats have not made public any specifics on their ideas for cuts, frustrating Republicans who see themselves as making hard, substantive proposals with no corresponding effort in the Senate.”

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