May 7th, 2009
04:26 PM ET
5 years ago

Republicans rip Obama for insufficient budget cuts

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republican congressional leaders tore into President Barack Obama's proposed 2010 budget Thursday, arguing that his spending cuts will do little to stem a rising tide of red ink.

The White House released details earlier in the day outlining $17 billion in cuts from 121 federal programs. The total savings amounts to roughly 0.5 percent of the more than $3.5 trillion in spending approved for next year, or 1.2 percent of next year's projected $1.4 trillion deficit if the president's overall budget is adopted.

"With Democrats in Congress adding to the national debt at the rate of more than $100 billion every month already this year and with a budget that triples the already unsustainable public debt over the next decade, it is clear that there is not much more that we can do to protect our children and grandchildren from the unprecedented trillions in additional debt proposed by this administration," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said on the Senate floor.

New Hampshire GOP Sen. Judd Gregg, who withdrew as Obama's commerce secretary-designate earlier this year, also criticized the cuts as minuscule in the face of current spending and deficit projections.

"It's as if this were the Gobi Desert or the Sahara Desert and you came along and you took a few pieces of sand," Gregg said.

It "will have virtually no impact on the deficit and the debt as we move forward ... because of the fact that while (they) are taking these few dollars out ... they are adding back in massive amounts of spending."

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, argued that Obama's proposed cuts are identical to cuts previously proposed by former President George W. Bush and rejected by the Democratic-controlled Congress. He also said House Republicans are working on their own package of proposed spending reductions.

"Over the next couple of weeks, you'll have a chance to see what real budget cuts look like," he said at a Capitol Hill news conference.

Boehner refused to indicate exactly how much money House Republicans want to cut, but his spokesman said the House GOP leadership would release its list of recommendations for cuts before Memorial Day.

Democratic congressional leaders replied by noting that Obama's proposed cuts were only the start of a long budget review process. They also noted that Obama had inherited a poor financial situation from his predecessor.

"I have asked House committee chairs to search out areas of possible savings in the departments, agencies, and program under their jurisdiction," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a written statement.

"House committees have already conducted 163 hearings, which will help inform our efforts as we review the president's proposed budget cuts and work with the administration to achieve additional savings."

Pelosi added that "the legacy of fiscal recklessness inherited by President Obama and the Congress will make our task more difficult, but we are prepared to make the difficult choices that are required to restore fiscal responsibility and strengthen our economy for the long-term."

House Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt, D-South Carolina, said that "while the Congress is unlikely to agree with all the changes proposed by the administration, the process and the resulting proposals are a step in the right direction, and a sign of fiscal discipline."

Roughly $11.5 billion of Obama's proposed savings would come from the discretionary side of the fiscal 2010 budget - that is, for programs whose funding is not automatic. And roughly half of the savings would come from non-defense programs, a senior administration official said in a briefing call with reporters on Wednesday.

- CNN's Suzanne Malveaux and Jeanne Sahadi contributed to this report.

Updated: 4:26 pm


Filed under: Budget • Republicans
soundoff (160 Responses)
  1. Quick2822

    I like when rich white men say $17,000,000,000 is nothing.

    May 7, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. yuri

    The GOP is pathetically a poor bunch of performers with a nasty attitude. They are true to their description. Oppose everything that BHO suggests without a viable alternative,. We think that they should seriously consider going to hell ASAP and PDQ.

    May 7, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. Wolves 4 Palin Charlotte, NC

    Rushlicans reaction to anything no longer deserves a comment!

    May 7, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  4. bob

    once again the party of "no" do they have any alternatives?...of course not they are devoid of ideas

    May 7, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  5. Tulsa

    Where were these guys the last 8 years?
    And what is their plan? Oh, they din't have any numbers in the one they put forth so how do we know WHAT their plan was?
    The party of NO is about as bankrupt as they have made this country.

    Every journy starts with that first step. This is only a first step, but the Republican party has their collective head up it's butt so far, they refuse to even aknowledge that it IS a start.

    Every time you guys speak you drive more people into the Democratic party. Keep it up.

    May 7, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  6. patNY

    Anyone surprised? I mean, geez! There's nothing this guy does the Republicans don't complain about! Hey! How about coming up with some more cuts yourselves present them to the president, and make a good argument as to why he should include them as well!

    May 7, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  7. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Love the comments by Pelosi, when do the libs accept responsibility. They never do. How much longer will Charlie Rangel be under investigation Nancy? Blame that one on Bush too? Silly dope smokin' libs.

    May 7, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  8. Mo

    All the Republicans are doing is finding something to complain about because they know they screwed up during the Bush administration and now Obama is cleaning this aweful mess up. What do the Republicans expect us to do just sit around watch us get into a bigger hole. The only way to get us out of this mess is to spend money.

    May 7, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  9. patNY

    One more thing, he can't cut the biggest part of the budget..the debt service part that makes up more than half the budget!

    May 7, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  10. Eleanor

    It doesn't matter one whit, what President Obama does! The Repugnants and The Party of Nothing, have zip, nada, of their own to offer! So, all they can do is critcize, obstruct, whinge, complain, and generally look more foolish, day by day.

    Go ahead on, Mr. President! Do what we elected you to do!!

    May 7, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. Markus

    Well, those awful Repuglicans! Complaining about the Messiah not cutting enough money from the budget! Don't they know that he is magical? Who cares about how it's going to be paid for? Just open up your wallets and close your mouths!

    May 7, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  12. Minnesotan

    Do as I say not as I do....

    Isn't that the GOP mantra??

    You had your chance and you proved to everyone you were incapable of being fiscally responsible. Once we're out of this mess you guys got us in Obama's gonna get all Clinton on you guys and balance our budget. The problem is the hole you guys dug is so deep we'll have to elect him again just to get to that point.

    May 7, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  13. Jim

    Of course the budget cuts are not enough for the Republicans. Now that they are the minority and don't get the checkbook they are all ready to chop away at the budget. What I haven't seen yet, and maybe this is out there in the media world somewhere but not being advertised, is the Republicans saying "yes, Obama's suggested cuts should be made but we need more". All I have seen is the comment that it is not enough, no agreement to the portion suggested to be cut.

    Until I see this it is tough to see the Republicans actions as anything more than being obstrunctionist. At this rate I would not be surprised if the Dems decided to cut the budget in half and the Republicans still scream "NO!!! We need more!!!"

    May 7, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  14. Heidi

    Hey, if the GOP wants to scoff at that $17B, I'll take it.

    May 7, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  15. Alex in Wisconsin

    America is waiting for a Plan B from the republicans that doesn't just include tax cuts.

    And as a minority party who has contributed next to nothing recently, I believe that the Republican party shouldn't be lashing out when the president does something right just because the scope isn't as big as they would like. They should instead praise the President for making small steps in the "right direction" towards fiscal responsibility and encourage him to continue making those tough budget cuts. That's the difference between the party of 'no' and the loyal opposition.

    May 7, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  16. Jennie

    When they start adding constructive suggestions to the budget conversation I'll pay attention to them – until then, their complaints are moot.

    Lead follow or get out of the way. Simply standing in front of the cameras complaining accomplishes nothing.

    They remain irrelevant. And they also seem to have forgotten which presidents have piled the majority onto the debt. Start with the last 3 repub presidents and their 90% contribution to the deficit. St. Reagan was the start and one of the worst.

    Keep complaining your way to irrelevancy gop.

    May 7, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  17. lulu

    Where were you GOP babies when Bush was in office???? In 8 YEARS I never heard you moaning and groaning over where to cut and what to eliminate that would have actually prevented the Deficit we are already in right now. And under Bush's watch that deficit was created!!! You guys just really sound SO unintelligent right now. I just wish you realized how disgusting and ridiculous you sound. Please bring an intelligent argument to the table. Pres. Obama has said that there will be more cuts, he's doing as much as he can as fast as he can to try and clean up the mess that Bush left. So grow up and think of some new ideas to try and help the situation at hand..versus continuously berating the man who actually IS trying to do something!

    May 7, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  18. Jason

    0.5% is all Obama can bring himself to cut. This guy really is a sad, pitiful joke. I can't believe how ignorant a majority of me fellow Americans were in electing this man. We are also seeing the consequences of having 1-party rule. The Republicans screwed up when they had total control, and now the Democrats are doing the same. Although, I thought the Republicans got carried away with the out of control spending, but it seems they were just amatuers compared to Obama and the Democrats in congress. To bad our kids, and grandkids are going to have to pay for all of this.

    May 7, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  19. Terry

    And will a single one of the Republican hypocrites, who voted for every Bush budget, tell us what they would cut. No. Not one.

    May 7, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  20. Trent

    With all due respect...it is the first president that has cut anything in quite some time.

    He is cutting programs that don't work. I love that they scream that it isn't enough.

    How about we cut more GOP?

    May 7, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  21. John

    Its ok President Obama we the people still support you. it really doesn't matter how the GOP feels anyway so keep on keeping on we will be there to support you always...

    May 7, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  22. Chamorrita, MD

    Here we go.... the Republican Party of NO it at it again.

    I doubt these same bitter sore losing Republicans know any other word in the Webster dictionary.

    May 7, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  23. Eileen

    "He also said House Republicans are working on their own package of proposed spending reductions. "

    Funny, the republicans always seem to be "working on their own package" – but we never see anything from them. Their health care plan, their budget, their cuts – they're non-existent, it's just talk.

    May 7, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  24. Vern

    Rebuplicants cannot and will not be satisfied with anything President Obama does...so who gives a rats $#% what they think. They are the main ones that got us in the mess we're in and they have no solutions..that is why they lost the Presidency and will continue to lose in every area. They are living up to their name REBUPLICANTS!!!

    May 7, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  25. George

    Hey admit it republicans. You are cheap and want everything free. You are so used to pilfering the average person you can't stand to see anyone other than yourself get a break. Cry baby Boehner is crying again. Why don't all you republicans in Washington just go home and save even more tax payer money. You are doing nothing to help America. No wonder you have electorial dysfunction.

    May 7, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
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