When voters, especially Tea Party voters, went to the polls last November, we wanted one key thing: stop the spending.
Barely a month into their two-year terms, the House committee for the budget has already betrayed us. Before the negotiations have even begun, the GOP leadership has caved by being fearful to take more than a few puny dollars out of the government’s voracious maw.
According to Politico:
Facing a two-front war on the left and right, the House Appropriations Committee voted, 27-22, Tuesday evening to move ahead with Republican plans for cutting close to $40 billion from domestic and foreign aid spending over the last seven months of this fiscal year.
Democrats were united in their opposition, but more important for Republicans was the loss of two of their own Western-state conservatives – Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake and Rep. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming — who voted “no” to protest the cuts being too small.
In a prior closed-door caucus, a third Republican, Georgia Rep. Tom Graves, had also threatened to bolt before being brought around by the committee leadership.
“He saw the light,” Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) told POLITICO.
Someone needs to wake up Rogers, because he is in the dark and leading us further down the hole.
This is an outrage. While the bill says it’s a $40 billion cut (still a far, far cry from the originally promised, and still disappointing, $100 billion), it’s even less:
The $40 billion in cuts is a major first bite but only takes Republicans halfway to their goal. And when added defense dollars are factored into the equation, the net reduction is closer to $32 billion — a small fraction of the $1.5 trillion 2011 deficit facing Washington.
Note that’s a $1.5 trillion DEFICIT, not a $1.5 trillion budget. They can only find $32 billion to cut from the $1.5 trillion hole they are digging in the $14 trillion crater we’re already in. Good grief. That’s hardly 0.9% of the budget. How many families have managed lately to cut only 1% of their budget?
One tweeter (GreatHairGuy) earlier said it’s like a surgeon being called in to amputate a gangrenous leg, and all he does is trims the toenails.
As one sign that the GOP still does not get it, Rogers had the audacity to call this minuscule cut a “jobs bill.” We need committee reassignments immediately. These people are being absolutely derelict in their duties.
So far, it appears that the GOP is all talk, all back-walking. The conservative voices such as Flake and South Carolina’s Jeff Duncan are going unheeded. Duncan has proposed a genius committee: Disappropriations. That’s the kind of bold thinking we expected from this Congress. So far we’re only seeing Pelosi-lite—despite the fact that even the Blue Dog Democrats are howling for some cuts.
Thanks a lot, Congress. This song goes out to you.
They smile in your face…
If you are on Twitter, send this tweet:
If not, be sure to call Congress and tell them what you think: (202) 224-3121
UPDATE 2/9/11 7:15pm
National Review has reported that the teeny proposed budget cuts had the freshmen Congressmen “almost in open revolt” at the Republican conference this afternoon.
At times, the meeting was quite heated. The source familiar with the meeting says, “They’re putting a lot of emotion out on the table early,” and adds that freshman said the cuts were peanuts and their constituents don’t think even $100 billion is enough.
The leadership issued the typical unreassuring comments that the message had been received. They keep saying that, and every new item that comes up on the agenda, especially if it pertains to spending, they demonstrate they haven’t heard us at all.
Don’t let up the pressure. Tweet and call your congressman. Let them know that even $100 billion out of a $3.5 trillion budget (or continuing resolution, if they want to get technical about it) is grossly insufficient.
Some other good stories on the Budget Betrayal of 2011:
Andrew Stiles at National Review: Flake Defies GOP on Cuts
Russ Voight at Red State: How House Leadership Can Fix Their Mess
David Rogers: GOP Cuts Deep as Right Revolts
Allahpundit’s take at HotAir: Report: House GOP in Revolt
And on the Hugh Hewitt radio show, a congressman (sorry, didn’t get his name and Hugh just calls him “Congressman”) said that the appropriations committee is meeting right this very moment.
We can hope this means the leadership has seen the light, realizes how upsetting this is to the voters. Unfortunately, the congressman didn’t have much hope for that himself.