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

Dems Defect From Their Own Budget Proposal, Which ‘Backfired’ And ‘Undercut Their Leverage’

March 10th, 2011 by mopns · No Comments

 

The Hill writes today, “Senate Democrats suffered a wave of defections Wednesday as their proposal to cut just over $6 billion [actually $4.7 billion, according to CBO] from federal spending this year went down to defeat. The Democratic bill attracted two fewer votes than the rival GOP measure that would cut spending by another $57 billion this year. The 11 defections will give Republican leaders ammunition in subsequent talks, as they were able to keep their caucus more unified. . . . [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid had hoped for a game-changer with votes that showed senators closer to the Democratic plan than the one backed by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), but the plan backfired.” And Politico points out, “Democrats hoped a pair of Senate votes Wednesday on competing budget plans would strengthen their hand, yet the outcome appeared to undercut their leverage.”

In fact, Democrats’ own budget plan was criticized by a number of Democrat senators who voted against it. As Politico put it, “A Democratic budget alternative failed 58-42 after a mix of moderates and liberals walked away, calling the proposal an inadequate response to the debt problems facing the nation.” The Washington Post adds, “The Democratic defectors, virtually all of whom rejected the spending cuts as insufficient, included fiscal conservatives and senators facing potentially tough reelection campaigns in 2012.” According to The Hill, “[Sen. Joe] Manchin, [D-WV] who criticized a lack of leadership from President Obama earlier this week in the spending fight, said the Democratic plan ‘doesn’t go far enough’ and ‘ignores our fiscal realities.’” And Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) was blunter, saying, “Many people are in denial around here.”

But did Democrat leaders get the message? According to The Hill, Reid said on the floor today, “We accept the lessons of yesterday’s vote. . . . We know we’ll have to make a sacrifice to reach consensus, and we are willing to do that.” Are Democrats really willing to do that and get serious about tackling our $1.5 trillion deficit and $14 trillion debt? So far, all Democrat leaders have shown a consensus on is making speeches listing programs they’re unwilling to cut. Hopefully yesterday’s vote will help Democrats in the Senate and President Obama to understand that this country can no longer afford the status quo on government spending.  It’s time for Democrats to work with Republicans to correct our unsustainable fiscal course.

Related:

Rasmussen Reports:

27% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction

61% See President Obama As More Liberal Than They Are

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