The Party of No Cuts Whatsoever

NRCC - On Friday, House Republicans introduced a temporary government funding measure that cuts federal spending based on proposals endorsed by Senate Democrats: “House Republicans began rolling out Friday a novel stop-gap spending bill that would avert a government shutdown March 4 but only if Democrats first accept nearly $4 billion in appropriations cuts as a down payment toward a larger budget deal…”

“Party leaders, in a conference call with reporters, said the full text of the bill will be released Friday afternoon in anticipation of coming to the House floor Tuesday. Most of the savings would come by rescinding unspent funds that had been earmarked by the last Congress or adopting reductions proposed in the White House’s own 2012 budget.” (David Rogers, “Republicans Start Stopgap Rollout,” Politico, 2/25/2011)

Even as some Senate Democrats voiced an openness to the proposal from House Republicans, Nancy Pelosi and other House Democrats doubled down on their commitment to the big spending agenda:

“Senate Democrats indicated they would be willing to go along with the proposal despite their insistence earlier this week that any temporary measure should be free of spending reductions. They had portrayed such a maneuver as a back-door way for House Republicans to begin enacting $61 billion in cuts that have met objections in the Senate.” (Carl Hulse, “Republicans Propose Budget Stopgap, Reducing Risk of Federal Shutdown,” The New York Times, 2/25/2011)

MINORITY LEADER REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is showing no enthusiasm for the new proposal from Republicans to avoid a government shutdown, putting her at odds with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

“Pelosi said in a statement that the GOP's plan for a two-week spending bill cuts funding for critical programs. “ ‘Republicans want to cut an additional $4 billion, which includes stripping support for some pressing educational challenges without redirecting these critical resources to meet the educational needs of our children,’ Pelosi said in a statement. ‘This is not a good place to start.’” (Daniel Strauss, “Pelosi Splits with Reid, Dismisses GOP Plan to Avoid Shutdown,” The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room, 2/28/2011)

This announcement from Pelosi comes after none of her House Democrats voted for the Republican plan to cut spending by $61 billion in the FY 2011 budget:

ZERO HOUSE DEMS VOTE FOR SPENDING CUTS: Final Vote: 235-189 (Roll Call Vote 147, 2/19/2011) But as House Democrats are stonewalling spending cuts, a new survey of top economists just pronounced the $1.4 trillion U.S. budget deficit the single largest obstacle for economic growth:

“The massive U.S. budget deficit is the gravest threat facing the economy, topping high unemployment and the risk of inflation or deflation, according to a survey of forecasters released on Monday.

“The National Association for Business Economics said its 47-member panel of forecasters increased its estimate for the 2011 federal deficit to $1.4 trillion from $1.1 trillion in its previous survey in November.

“‘Panelists continue to characterize excessive federal indebtedness as their single greatest concern,’ with state and local government debt the second-biggest worry, the survey said. It was conducted between January 25 and February 9.” (Rachelle Younglai, “Ecomomists List U.S. Budget Deficit as No. 1 Worry,” Reuters, 2/28/2011)

This lack of seriousness on the nation’s spending crisis is precisely why many have begun referring to the Democrats as “the party of No”:

“Obama's Democrats have become the party of no. Real cuts to the federal budget? No. Entitlement reform? No. Tax reform? No. Breaking the corrupt and fiscally unsustainable symbiosis between public-sector unions and state governments? Hell, no.” (Charles Krauthammer, “Rubicon: A River in Wisconsin,” The Washington Post, 2/25/2011)

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