Clyburn: Dems May Do 'Surgical Cuts,' But Only in Line with Obama's Agenda

Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said his party may be ready to perform “surgical cuts” on spending, but only so far as they fit into President Obama’s objectives.


And like his colleagues in recent days, Clyburn insisted there’s a mandate for doing so.

“We have now had a very definitive election and I think the American people spoke very loudly as to the approach they would like to take. And we know where the president was in the debt ceiling talks last year or earlier this year, and the American people have come down on the side of the president,” he said on MSNBC yesterday.

“When it comes to the other kinds of compromises, I think that Democrats are ready to do surgical cuts in order to meet the president’s goals,” he added.

Clyburn said he’s encouraged that Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) spoke by phone over the weekend.

“It’s kind of tough for us members of the House to agree with senators on anything, but I think that most of what I’ve heard over the weekend indicate that senators, I understand 10 or 12 of them are ready to move on revenues. And that’s a good sign. And I think that there are House members who are ready to move as well,” he said.


Clyburn said he thinks a solution may be doable by Christmas, “and I don’t mean standing here until Christmas Eve to do it.”

“This is the kind of issue that we ought to join hands. And I don’t mean this sort of the way it sounds, and jump over the cliff together or pull back together, whatever it might be,” he said. “Let’s join hands, let’s have a joint whip operation, let’s come up with 300 or 400 votes on this issue, which I think we could do if we really were to get serious about doing the surgical cuts and about finding the kind of revenue that we could get from war savings, from the upper end tax cuts.”


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