Senate Democrats

With $30 Billion in Cuts on Table, Will House Republicans Take Yes For An Answer?

In early February the House Republican leadership endorsed a budget proposal containing around $30 billion in spending cuts. At the time House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan said that the cuts would “restore sanity to a broken budget process,” and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers called them a “responsible, judicious” way to “significantly reduce spending.”  Rogers even went as far as to say that any cuts deeper than the $32 billion he proposed could have damaging consequences.  Now that Democrats have offered Republicans a deal at roughly the same levels that they endorsed last month, will Republicans take yes for an answer? Or will they bow to Tea Party demands again?

GOP Rep Tom Latham:  Initial $32 Billion in Spending Cuts “Enactable” But Deeper Cuts Unlikely to Fly. “Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa), a senior Appropriations Committee member and close friend of Boehner’s, said Rogers’ initial package was probably ‘enactable’ in a deal with the Senate, where a large number of Democrats face reelection in 2012 from states that voted Republican last fall. Deeper cuts are unlikely to fly, however, Latham said, raising the prospect that Congress will merely extend spending at current levels to keep federal agencies open – denying Republicans a victory on their most important campaign promise.”  [Washington Post, 2/11/11]

Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers: Original GOP Proposal Was “Real” and Amounted to the Largest Cuts in History. In February when speaking about the House GOP’s original proposal to cut $32 billion in spending, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers embraced the cuts.  Rogers said, “make no mistake, these cuts are not low-hanging fruit. These cuts are real and will impact every district across the country — including my own.”  Rogers added, “Never before has Congress undertaken a task of this magnitude. The cuts in this [spending proposal] will represent the largest reduction in discretionary spending in the history of our nation.  [New York Times, 2/10/11; Christian Science Monitor, 2/10/11]

Rogers: $32 Billion in Cuts “Responsible, Judicious” way to “Significantly Reduce Spending.” “With this CR, we will respond to the millions of Americans who have called on this Congress to rein in spending and help our economy grow and our businesses create jobs. It is my intention – and that of my Committee – to craft a responsible, judicious CR that will significantly reduce government spending, begin to get our nation’s finances in order so that the economy can thrive, and provide essential resources for our national security.”  [Rogers Release, 2/3/11]

Ryan: $32 Billion Cuts Will “Restore Sanity to a Broken Budget Process.” In February, after releasing the package of spending cuts totaling $32 billion, Budget Chairman Paul Ryan issued a statement that “Washington’s spending spree is over. As House Republicans pledged – and voted to affirm on the House floor last week – the spending limits will restore sanity to a broken budget process and return spending for domestic government agencies to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels.”  [Ryan Statement, 2/3/11]

Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers: Cutting Any Deeper Than Original House Proposal Could Have “Substantial Consequences.” “Mr. Rogers and other Republicans warned that doubling the cuts could have substantial consequences for federal agencies, resulting in layoffs and furloughs of federal law enforcement officers and air traffic controllers, steep cuts in education and medical research programs and major changes at the Food and Drug Administration.”  [New York Times, 2/10/11]