Monday, March 28, 2011

John Boehner asks Five Simple Questions for Democrats on Spending Cuts

John BoehnerIt was 37 days ago that House Republicans passed H.R. 1, a clear plan for cutting spending to create a better environment for job growth and keeping the government funded for the rest of this fiscal year. But here we are, more than a month later, and nobody knows where the Democrats who run Washington stand on cutting spending – including Democrats themselves.

To help move the process along, we’d like answers to these five simple questions:

* 1) When will Senate Democrats offer a serious plan for cutting spending and funding the government for the rest of the fiscal year? AP noted that “[t]he House has voted for $61 billion in cuts” – H.R. 1. But Politico says “Senate Democrats haven’t put forward a long-term spending plan that can move through their chamber.” In fact, Democrats have “shown no ability to rally behind a long-term budget proposal.” So where is their plan?

* 2) Where does the White House stand on cutting spending and funding the government for the rest of the fiscal year? “Democrats on both sides of the Capitol say they have no idea where the White House stands or who’s running the show,” reports Politico. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) said on the Senate floor, “Our president has failed to lead this debate or offer a serious proposal for spending and cuts that he would be willing to fight for.” And Rep. Mike Capuano (D-MA) asked, “Where is the president going to lead? And are we going to follow?”

* 3) What exactly is the White House willing to cut? The Washington Post says “Democrats are being disingenuous by suggesting they have already worked hard to reduce spending or to reach out to Republicans.” Despite repeated claims by the White House and top Democrats, “when they're translated into real numbers, the White House is arguably meeting the GOP just one-sixth of the way — not halfway at all,” says AP.

* 4) What exactly are Congressional Democrats willing to cut? “The top two Democratic leaders in the House have twice split on whether to approve short-term government funding bills that cut billions from federal accounts,” reported Politico. And remember: the House-passed H.R.1 received more votes in the Democrat-run Senate than the status quo spending plan put forward by Democratic leaders.

* 5) Do Democrats intend to shut down the government because they can't agree among themselves? Politico says Democrats have been “wobbly in their budget message, divided on major votes and out of sync…” To mask these ongoing divisions – and their desire to keep the job-crushing spending binge going – Democrats have repeatedly rooted for a government shutdown. As CNN reported, “it is the Democrats talking most about shutting down the government.”

The new Republican Majority is working to clean up the mess left behind when “the Democratic-controlled Congress failed to pass a budget” last year. But we need to know – as Speaker Boehner asked the other day – “when it comes to cutting spending and keeping the government running, where are Washington Democrats?”

TEXT and IMAGE CREDIT: Speaker of the House John Boehner Contact H-232 The Capitol Washington, DC 20515 P (202) 225-0600 F (202) 225-5117

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