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

WH Offers Only $6 Billion In Cuts, “Far Short” Of GOP; McConnell: It’s “Unacceptable” And “Indefensible”

March 7th, 2011 by mopns · No Comments

The New York Times reported Friday, “As they opened negotiations with Republicans over budget cuts, the White House and Congressional Democrats on Thursday offered to trim an additional $6.5 billion from current spending, a figure far short of the Republican goal of cutting agency budgets by $61 billion.”

Indeed, the press widely acknowledged how far the White House proposal fell short of the cuts House Republicans passed. The Washington Post writes, “The White House proposal falls far short of the $61 billion the House voted last month to slash from current funding levels.”  The Wall Street Journal says, “The White House proposal was a step in the direction of Republican budget-cutters, but a fraction of the $57 billion difference between the parties.” Politico notes, “This remains the heart of the standoff, and even with the added cuts the administration and congressional Democrats are still about $51 billion short of the reductions approved by the House for the remainder of the fiscal year.” And the AP writes, “The White House cuts fell well short of what resurgent Republicans are demanding but were seen by Democrats as an attempt to meet Republicans in the middle.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell was less than impressed by the White House plan, calling it “unserious” in a floor speech Friday. “House Republicans have proposed a plan. It would reduce spending by $61 billion in this year’s budget. Earlier this week, we voted on a two-week piece of that bill that reduces spending by $4 billion. The White House’s proposal, as outlined by the President’s economic advisor yesterday, is to cut another $6 billion and call it a day. Even more outrageous, they say that this proposal meets us ‘halfway.’ I won’t get into their tortured justification. Suffice it to say that Politico says it requires Americans to ‘suspend disbelief.’”

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker blog wrote a whole piece on how “Democrats keep misleading on claimed budget ‘cuts.’” The piece goes so far as to say, “Democrats are being disingenuous by suggesting they have already worked hard to reduce spending or to reach out to Republicans.” The blog explains, “When Democrats say they are meeting Republicans halfway, they are talking about ‘cuts’ from Obama’s never-enacted 2011 budget. By the White House’s math, they have proposed $41 billion in cuts from the 2011 budget, plus $4 billion in the latest stopgap measure, plus $6.5 billion in unspecified cuts announced Thursday, for a total of $51 billion. But there was no heavy lifting involved, and certainly little discrete examination of which programs to preserve and which ones to cut. It’s lot like saying you are running a 100-yard dash, but starting on the 50-yard line.”

In fact, The Fact Checker blog writes, “Democrats have offered just over $10 billion — the $4 billion in the stop gap measure and the $6.5 billion announced late Thursday. Republicans have proposed $61 billion, so the gap between the two parties remains wide indeed.”

As Leader McConnell said, “[A]mid all the fanfare yesterday, what the White House is proposing is little more than one more proposal to maintain the status quo — to give the appearance of action where there is none. This latest proposal is unacceptable, and it’s indefensible. The American people are tired of hearing the same tired talking points from our Democrat friends. They want action. They want to cut spending to help create a better environment for job creation. It’s time for Washington Democrats to get serious.”

Related:

Washingtontimes.com: Government posts biggest monthly deficit ever

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