Some Republicans are playing President Barack Obama’s budget as an opportunity missed. The GOP freshmen — sent to Washington to shake things up — are putting it a little more bluntly.
“Let me see if I can say this as politically correctly as I can,” Mick Mulvaney, a freshman from South Carolina who has been a public face for the new class on budget issues, said to POLITICO. “I thought it was a joke. It’s hard to explain how detached from reality this is, to think that the country can spend another $1.6 trillion when it doesn’t have the means. It means either you haven’t been paying attention or you don’t care. It’s absurd; [it’s] especially disturbing in light of encouraging language he used at State of the Union address.”
Other freshmen picked up on that theme Monday, lambasting the bill for cutting too little spending and raising taxes.
“What’s dismaying is that the president doesn’t get it,” said Rep. Scott Tipton, a Republican from Colorado. “I’ve likened it to the gnat on the back of the elephant.”
Over the weekend, Republicans were already coordinating their “opportunity missed” strategy, and some freshmen echoed that theme.
“I’m heartbroken,” Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar said — Valentine’s Day pun intended. “No, I just saw the president’s budget. Really, I am disappointed — I was waiting for leadership, and we deferred our responsibility to others.”
Other freshmen mostly stuck to the script Monday, eschewing live comments for precooked statements.
“Instead of fresh ideas and a bipartisan way forward, the proposed budget feeds Washington’s addiction to more taxes, more spending and more debt. The White House’s own projections show a ‘new normal’ of debt that we have not seen since we were fighting World War II,” said freshman Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich), who sits on the Budget Committee and the Joint Economic Committee.
“No South Dakota family farm or small business could ever offer up this kind of budget — it’s too much spending, too much borrowing and not enough reality. It is unfortunate that President Obama didn’t offer our country leadership when we need it most,” Rep. Kristi Noem of South Dakota, who was elected by her freshman colleagues to help lead the class, said in a statement.
“Sadly, the president’s budget is more of the reckless borrowing and spending that will continue to cost jobs and slow our economic recovery,” Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) said in a prepared remarks.
While freshmen members are grumbling about the budget, there’s another opportunity to cut spending looming on the agenda—the continuing resolution vote to implement a stop gap spending measure for the federal government, which is expected late this week. Freshmen and conservative members already won 100 billion in spending cuts from their leaders—but they’re still looking for more.
“I think it’s going to be a really tough week. We’re going to deal with a lot of very difficult decisions,” said Rep. James Lankford of Oklahoma. “We’ve got to axe a bunch of things. There are some tough choices to make, some great things we just cant afford anymore.”
As for the continuing resolution, which will be debated under a rule that will allow for a number of amendments, Lankford says, “I expect it to be a feeding frenzy of spending cuts.”
View article at Politico