May 7th, 2009
04:26 PM ET
9 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. mark

    Perhaps the Republicans need to step up to the plate and make some suggestions. I think President Obama would listen.

    May 7, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. Obama Victim

    0.5%...............yes, change we can believe in....well, actually that is just chnage

    May 7, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  3. Dave C - NJ

    GOP Translation:

    We dug a huge hole.

    You inherited our mess.

    But you are not doing enough to fix it.

    May 7, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. Susan

    Gosh, I have yet to hear a Republican offer up any cuts to their own pet projects...come on, at least ONE of you must have some kind of solution?
    I know, let's start with Texas and NASA. Then let's cut the out of date, no-bid bomber contracts, and then some of the perks that come with being a Washington mail, free health care...uncontested salary raises...I'm sure there are billions in those things!

    May 7, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. Gene

    I'll bet that these people that are screaming that it's not enough will be the same ones trying to block every budget cut Obama's trying to make.

    May 7, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  6. Kelby In Houston, TX

    THAT'S RIGHT!!! Obama's budget cuts weren't nearly as good as the republicans budget cuts.
    Obama's budget cuts are lame, Republican budget cuts are AWESOME!!!
    REPUBLICAN BUDGET CUTS ARE....I'm sorry. Right now, I'm being told that the Republicans never cut the federal budget and that the budget, the deficit and the national debt ballooned to catastrophic levels under their leadership

    May 7, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. Kevin

    What cuts did the Republicans proposed during Bush's last two years?

    May 7, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  8. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    OH>>> Obama didn't cut enough from the Bush Pork Pie?

    Republicans are hilarious... not a peep out of them over the last 8 years as Bush spent money at record rates....

    May 7, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. gl, Pittsburgh

    And what to you expect from the Party of NO. Not suprised at all.

    May 7, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  10. Shirley In California

    Okay so the Party of No said No again.

    Next story...

    May 7, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  11. magella

    ""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."

    Bring it on, Boehner. Although I have to ask–why couldn't you have had your suggestions ready to go today too? If this is such a priority–sparing our children and grandchildren from mounting debt–what else have you been working on since the start of the year that's so much more critical?

    May 7, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  12. Rich G

    "Boehner refused to indicate exactly how much money House Republicans want to cut"

    Why not, exactly?

    May 7, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  13. shucks

    Just like they voted for budget cuts for the last 8 years. Why do they even speak when they have so very little to say of any substance other than to disagree. America is listening loud and clear. We have just started to take back our country from this internal terroristic faction.

    May 7, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  14. Mark WI.

    When will people realize, that the hole the republicans have dug for themselves is so deep that if they did turn "humane" again and try to play nice there would not be a rope long enough to get them out of the abyss.
    I personally believe, that we will not be seeing the GOP, winning to many elections in the near future. So really all they have left to do is criticize, and make comments about how they are right , and the rest of the world is wrong. If they changed their ways now, you may as well throw dirt in the hole and "bury" them!

    May 7, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  15. Ray O'Vac

    Headline should read "Stupid Republicans rip Obama, shoot selves in foot"

    May 7, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  16. Simpliticus

    What happens when you are entirely spent. That is the Republican Party. They spent themselves on Morals and ethics with the revelations concerning torture that our country performed. Torture that President Bush actually allowed even though he said that we don't torture. Sounds like the old blue dress stain all over again! So, we have a country on the brink of going over the cliff of insolvency, brought on by these Republicans and they rant that Obama isn't cutting enough! I remember a Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska that was itself egregious but allowed until Stevens then took it back. I am not sorry but Republicans are persona non grata to me. They are dissemblers elite!

    May 7, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  17. Ken, Arizona

    More of the same... still no alternative solutions. But then you wouldn't expect any since the GOP had no solutions to problems when they were in the majority.

    May 7, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  18. gl, Pittsburgh

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

    ( Like tax cuts and then more tax cuts right?)

    We heard that one before and I wouldn't hold my breath.

    May 7, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  19. Paul from Phoenix

    Sorry Mr. President, but it is all relative.

    To me, yes, $17 billion is not a drop in the bucket. I could live very happily for many lifetimes with that money.

    However, compared to a $3 trillion budget, it is a drop in the bucket. These budget cuts are a joke. I would even go so far as to throw out the cliches "slap in the face" and "insult to Americans."

    Heck, half of these cuts Bush tried for and was rejected. Where is the change in proposing the same budget cuts Bush proposed?

    BTW, do those budget cuts include the $350k for Air Force One photo opportunities?

    May 7, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  20. DT

    Well at least Repubs are making themselves useful trying to come up wit an alternate plan...too bad it'll probably be more of the same (Not working) crap they've be spewing for years...go Obama...

    May 7, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  21. liz

    How about those concerned Republicans take a pay cut? Cut their staff by half?

    How much of the money being spent, and being blamed on Obama was from Iraq and interest on debt that Obama inherited from Bush?

    May 7, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    Yawn...the only thing that needs to be cut is the GOPers' oxygen supply.

    May 7, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  23. Diane Panama City Fl

    Until you Republican morons have a serious counter-proposal other than a 19-page piece of garbage you called a plan, it may be a good idea to keep your mouths shut. These rip and tear comments just show you to be mean, arrogant obstructionists.

    May 7, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  24. JonDie

    From 2001 to 2009, Republicans rubber-stamped every record deficit budget that George W. Bush proposed, so the GOP is a little too little and a little too late when it comes to the budget.

    May 7, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    $1M pig odor study = 0.000125% of the $800B stimulus package....GOPers went apoplectic.

    $17B in cuts = 0.5% (4,000 times the above percentage) and GOPers call it tiny.

    Please, just shut up and leave us alone.

    May 7, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
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