Senate Democrats

How It’s Playing: Bowing To Tea Party Demands, Republicans Propose Irresponsible Spending Bill That Threatens Jobs And Jeopardizes Programs That Grow Our Economy And Keep Us Safe

As Republicans continue their extreme, ideologically-driven push to roll back investments that create jobs and keep us safe, Democrats want to responsibly rein in spending by cutting waste and excess while keeping programs that make America stronger. Democrats want to eliminate $20 billion in giveaways to oil companies that even the former CEO of Shell called “not necessary,” and billions in wasteful Pentagon spending to military contractors. Meanwhile, driven by demands from the Tea Party, Republicans are working to slash the budget for the FBI, cut financial aid for college students, and take cops off the streets. Instead of promoting an extreme agenda and flirting with a government shutdown, Republicans should work with Democrats to find common-sense solutions to get our spending under control and create jobs.

Politico: Is GOP Overreaching On Budget? “As House Republicans prepared to announce ever deeper spending cuts Friday, there is growing concern in the party that it s overreaching and missing a chance to drive a wedge through nervous Senate Democrats. New survey data Thursday suggests that while Americans are losing their appetite for increased federal spending, voters still shy away from the severe, immediate reductions envisioned by the tea party conservatives now driving the House Republican planIn the case of education, Pew found that only 11 percent of those surveyed wanted to cut federal spending, while 62 percent favored more funding. In the case of combating crime, just 18 percent support cuts in federal spending while twice that number support increases.” LINK

Roll Call: Reid, Schumer Keep Up Drumbeat on Shutdown. “Senate Democratic leaders continued to warn Friday that House Republicans appear willing to risk a government shutdown as the GOP scrambles to cut $100 billion from President Barack Obama’s budget. Citing a Thursday comment from Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), a senior appropriator, that a shutdown was ‘a possibility,’ Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.) urged Republican leaders to take a shutdown off the table — something they have been unwilling to do.  We don’t need these threats,’ Reid said on a conference call with reporters. ‘Time is wasting while House Republicans argue among themselves over how extreme a proposal to send over to the Senate, Schumer said, noting that a shutdown would take place in three weeks unless Congress acts.” LINK

New York Times: G.O.P. Leaders “Accede” To Tea Party Demands. “House Republican leaders said Thursday that they would accede to demands from conservatives and dig deeper into the federal budget for billions of dollars in additional savings this year, exhibiting the power of the Tea Party movement and increasing chances of a major fiscal clash with Democrats. … Senate Democrats, who will have to negotiate with their Republican counterparts in the House, quickly criticized the plan, accusing Republicans of slashing too deeply into programs like community law enforcement while refusing to end subsidies to powerful allies like the oil industry. In many cases, these proposals may mean taking workers off the assembly line or taking teachers out of the classroom or police off our streets,’ Senator Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat and majority leader, said. ‘After all, you can lose a lot of weight by cutting off your arms and legs,” he added. ‘But no doctor would recommend it.LINK

Wall Street Journal: House GOP Leaders “Bowed” To Tea Party Demands. “House Republican leaders on Thursday bowed to a revolt from conservative lawmakers and said they would propose deeper budget cuts for the current year than they had planned. Democrats said Mr. Rogers’s course change was a capitulation to the GOP’s conservative wing that would make it even harder for the House and the Democratic-controlled Senate to negotiate a compromise budget for the rest of this year. ‘We are willing to negotiate with the House Republicans on common-sense cuts that will reduce the deficit,’ said Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.). ‘But right now they are having a hard enough time negotiating with each other.’” LINK

The Hill: Senate Democratic Leaders Urge Republicans To Take Government Shutdown Off The Table. “Senate Democratic leaders urged Republicans on Friday to take the possibility of a government shutdown off the table as Congress faces a tight deadline to pass a stopgap measure.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) reiterated to reporters on Friday that lawmakers need to sit down and work together on spending cuts.  ‘Republicans should rule out a shutdown and come together on a bipartisan plan,’ Schumer said during a conference call with reporters. ‘The House needs to send us a responsible CR [continuing resolution] proposal.’” LINK

Washington Post: “Already Wobbly Week For House Republicans Turned Chaotic.” “An already wobbly week for House Republicans turned chaotic Thursday as their unruly new majority flatly rejected a spending plan crafted by House leaders, saying its cuts fell far short of fulfilling a campaign pledge to slice $100 billion from federal programs. House leaders offered to redo the package but were struggling to identify the massive and unprecedented cuts that will be required to meet their goal. Dissatisfied conservatives, meanwhile, were pressing for even sharper reductions that could prove difficult to push through the House, much less the Democratic-controlled Senate. LINK

New York Times: Beyond Reason On The Budget. “After two years of raging at President Obama’s spending plans, House Republican leaders have finally revealed their real vision of small government: tens of billions in ideologically driven cuts to job training, environmental protection, disease control, crime protection and dozens of other critical functions that only the government can perform. In all, they want more than $32 billion in cuts below current spending packed into the next seven months. They would be terribly damaging to a frail recovery and, while spending reductions must be part of long-term deficit control, these are the wrong cuts, to the wrong programs, at the wrong time.” LINK

Roll Call: Reid Takes on GOP Spending Cuts. “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) accused Republicans on Thursday of protecting corporations even as they try to slash a host of federal programs in the middle of the fiscal year. Democrats have planned for weeks to start challenging specific GOP proposals for spending cuts, while agreeing with the general need for some austerity… ‘So far, Republicans have shown no interest in meeting us halfway and have shown every intention of protecting their rich corporate friends,’ Reid said. Democrats will consider the quality of cuts, not just the quantity, he added. ‘After all, you can lose a lot of weight by cutting off your arms and legs. But no doctor would recommend it,’ he said.” LINK

Politico: Schumer Says GOP ‘Swinging Blindly’ At Budget.“Senate Democratic leaders dismissed House Republicans proposal to cut $100 billion from the budget on Thursday, calling the proposal irresponsible enough to lead to a government shutdown. ‘The House Republicans’ proposal isn’t responsible,’ said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to reporters on a conference call. ‘Instead of focusing on waste, they want to cut funding for initiatives that help us grow our economy and make our country more competitive.’” LINK

Daily Caller: Senate Dem Leaders: GOP Is ‘Blindly Swinging A Meat Ax To The Budget’. “Senate Democrat leaders warned against government shutdown again Thursday, and said there is no way they would accept the Republican proposal of cutting $100 billion from President Obama’s 2011 budget request. ‘We know we’re not going to get everything we want,’ said New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate. ‘They’re not going to get everything they want.’ … ‘We are willing to negotiate with Republicans on common sense cuts that reduce the deficit. But right now they’re having a hard enough time negotiating with each other,’ Schumer said. ‘The infighting among House Republicans is causing gridlock that could risk a government shutdown.LINK

The Hill: Senate Dems Urge End To GOP Budget ‘Infighting.’ “Senate Democrats on Thursday urged House Republicans to settle internal rifts and release a budget proposal, but vowed to kill the bill if it includes the cuts Republicans want. ‘We’re eager to work with Republicans to cut spending and reduce our debt in a responsible way,’ Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said in a statement. But ‘the House Republicans’ proposal isn’t responsible.’ ‘Instead of focusing on waste, they want to cut funding for initiatives that help us grow our economy and make our country more competitive,’ Reid said. LINK

FireDogLake: Reid, Schumer Highlight Republican Hints at Government Shutdown. “Senators Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer jumped all over comments today by a House Republican that essentially threatened a government shutdown over the continuing resolution on the Fiscal Year 2011 budget. They asked House leadership to clarify whether they agree that a government shutdown is possible in the next three weeks, when the current continuing resolution expires. … Nevertheless, Reid and Schumer took direct aim at this on a conference call. ‘It’s disturbing to hear two more Republicans raise the possibility of a shutdown, Reid said, referencing not only Simpson but the comments of Presidential hopeful and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty at CPAC. Reid parroted comments a month ago from John Boehner that ‘we need to act like adults’ and come up with a solution, rather than going back to 1995 and the gridlock that caused a shutdown. Reid noted that such a shutdown could send the economy reeling back into a recession, citing the $3 billion in exports left idle at the ports in 1995.” LINK

Talking Points Memo: Top Senate Democrats Rip GOP Spending Cut Race-To-The-Bottom. “‘The House Republican proposal is not responsible,’ said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on a conference call with reporters. Last week, Reid called the House Republicans’ plan to slash $34 billion from current spending levels over the next six months ‘unworkable.’ Just today, under pressure from their right flank, GOP leaders increased that number to about $58 billion. That infighting, according to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is ‘causing gridlock that could risk a government shutdown.’” LINK