Ryan to Obama: I’ll See Your Budget and Raise You $5.3T in Cuts
Democrats cried foul, saying cuts in the budget shouldn't be higher than what was agreed upon in debt-ceiling negotiations.
March 20, 2012 - 10:25 am
“The national debt now exceeds the size of our entire economy, but the president is proposing more spending and higher taxes, while Senate Democrats haven’t passed a budget in more than 1,000 days,” Boehner said. ”Far from ignoring our debt crisis, Republicans are again proposing responsible solutions to tackle it once and for all, including cutting spending, reforming our broken tax code, and strengthening health and retirement security. We also propose reversing the president’s policies that are driving up gas prices, and implementing an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy to help address rising energy costs and create jobs.”
Knowing that presentation is as important as the message this year, Republicans rolled out the budget with a three-minute video featuring Ryan.
“Our plan takes power away from Washington and gives it back to the individual,” Ryan says in the video. “Because it’s the American people, not bureaucrats in Washington, who make this nation what it is.”
Congressional Democrats responded with a coordinated attack accusing Ryan’s budget of putting the country on a path to a government shutdown by reneging on the Budget Control Act, the agreement that brought an end to the crisis over raising the debt ceiling and created the super committee.
The Republican budget shields the Defense Department from some of the $487 billion in cuts brought on by sequestration. Six congressional committees, excluding Armed Services, are asked to find $261 billion in savings to help offset the automatic cuts triggered by the super committee’s failure.
Ryan proposed turning on budget reconciliation for the first time in six years to pre-empt sequestration.
“They have shown that a deal with them isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on and they are threatening families across America yet again with the prospect of a government shutdown,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said. “…This budget shows that they are more concerned with appeasing their extreme base than actually working with us to reduce the deficit.”
D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) criticized the budget for setting up a showdown by keeping House appropriators at $1.028 trillion in discretionary spending for FY 2013 while the Senate will keep at the higher $1.047 trillion level agreed to in the August debt-ceiling agreement.
“Six months away from the start of the fiscal year, the House Republican budget sets us on an ominous path,” Norton said.
“People have limits on credit cards,” Boehner fired back at Democrats in a press conference. “That doesn’t mean that you’re required to spend up to the limit, it just says you can’t spend any more than that.”
Any House budget plan is essentially DOA in the upper chamber, where senators have not passed a budget in more than three years.
“They have unanimously rejected the president’s budget,” noted Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.). “Here again the House Budget Committee has tried to find common ground in our proposal, but we can’t participate in these discussions by ourselves. Others may have ideas that we could embrace, but we’ll remain at an impasse as long as they stay on the sidelines. Our country needs everyone at the table.”
At AEI, Ryan warned that if allowed to go through, Obama’s budget “will take down this economy.”
“The problem with the president’s budget is he raises these taxes but uses them to spend more money,” he said. “We should not be spending money we don’t have … and consigning our kids to an ugly future.”
Putting forth their budget alternative before the April 15 deadline is simply following the rule of law, he said.
“If we don’t like the direction the president is taking the country … then we feel we have the moral obligation and responsibility to show the country how we would do things differently,” Ryan said. “…We believe that Americans should make this decision, not some politicians in a super committee.”