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. Ghost

    Hmmmmm, why didn't they come up with these cuts before now? Why must they wait for the President's proposals to decide to get started on their own?

    We've seen your budget. Kinda short on things like actual numbers and what not. And it was only slightly less in terms of money. In terms of purpose, it was considerably less.

    Again, if you wanna make some cuts, let's start with congressional pay and benefits. Give up your socialized healthcare and pay for it like the rest of us.

    May 7, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  2. Deb

    You mean the Republican house minority got off of his tanning bed to once again criticize our President? While tanning perhaps he can come up with ideas other than "No" or critiques of the President. Unbelievable constituents have elected this man to represent them in Congress. I sure hope they realize that is not happening.

    May 7, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  3. Frozone

    The GOP will complain no matter what Obama does. The media should do what I did months ago–stop paying attenion to the GOP until they come up with something worth saying.

    May 7, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  4. Vic

    The Repubs ripping Prez Obama for this and everything. Boy, what a big surprise. Does this party like anything? I mean, they don't like Obama, they don't like Democrats and they don't like moderates of their own party. That's a good way of becoming extinct in politics. Will there be a Republican party in 5 years? Im beginning to think it will be called the Christian party by 2014. And by then, most moderate Repubs will be Demo's.

    May 7, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  5. Paul

    In other news, the sun came up, it rained in Oregon, and the Washington Nationals continue to suck. The GOP is a broken record when it comes to bashing Obama, and they've been at it so long hardly anyone listens to what they say. A dumb party is not getting any smarter.

    May 7, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. Bev - NYC

    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.

    ****************************************************************************Sure release it the Friday before Memorial day when no one is paying attention. Just like the budget you had on April Fool's Day, a blue cover without numbers. Why does the media pay attention to Republicans any more, please can't we just pretend they do not exist.

    May 7, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  7. Texas Annie *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

    So- maybe the GOP could make some good suggestions??? We would all be willing to listen.

    Or maybe they could have pulled the plug on the idiot that was in the White House the previous 8 years?? They were sure quick to approve of every dime he wanted to spend no matter what the use.

    GOP, if you're going to complain, then have some good suggestions to offer up. Otherwise, you're just a complainer....

    May 7, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  8. R in Maine

    They want to cut everything that does not result in money flowing into their overly full pockets. You have the votes. Do what you think is best for the country because they certainly will not.

    May 7, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  9. J.P.

    "the last 8 years!"
    "the last 8 years!"
    "the last 8 years!"

    I don't recall there being a problem for six of those years. And then the San Francisco socialists took over the congress in 2007, and then the wheels literally flew off the apple cart.

    Ko-inky-dink? I think not... hippies' policies caused the same sorts of problems in 1977-1980 under Jimmuh Cahtah. Let me count the ways:
    double-digit unemployment
    double-digit interest rates (20%-ish)
    double-digit inflation
    "stagflation" (hey, there's a phrase for ya)
    "malaise" (another "gem" from Jimmuh)
    oil shortage
    runaway regulation (read: "prosperity strangulation")
    hostages held by hummus dippers
    Need I continue?

    Expect to see a return to these oldies-but-goodies in the coming years, as Big Gubmint tries to manage an economy that is way too complex and dynamic for any, ANY, A-N-Y bumbling government, liberal or conservative, to even attempt to manage.

    But hey, technically "economic collapse" *IS* change, just not change for the better. If one president's "8-year" debt was the problem, how is another presidents debt (four-times-larger-in-60-short-days) the solution? Must be hippie logic.

    May 7, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  10. Glen

    Pelosi added that "the legacy of fiscal recklessness inherited by President Obama and the Congress will make our task more difficult

    Where was Pelosi over the last few years when she was supposed to be in control? Where was the oversight of Congress which was controlled by the Democrats? Was she sleeping when the Bush budgets were presented. What a Liar!!!!

    May 7, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    Yeah, removing 1 in 200 grains of sand from the Gobi or Sahara would be completely de minimus. I could do that in one sitting with a teaspoon.

    May 7, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  12. arnie

    Were these people in the Senate the last eight years. I am not sure because they put this man in a mess to make the hard choices and they criticize every move he makes. Besides didn't the President say this is the beginning. If we are spending 2.4 Trillion Dollars a year on Healthcare cost and can't get better results than what we have gotten. The Budget the President proposed is right on. I support the President 100% in his action and so does the majority of the American people. You either lead, follow or get out of our way. Change has come to America!

    May 7, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    Provide a proper accounting of the budgets for 2000-2008 without sweeping Iraq, etc., under the rug with accounting tricks and see how the GOP fares then with their idiotic blather. Not that it does them much good. Jousting at windmills will only entertain those who are already convinced...they're not going to win any converts with this. It's sad really. Rather than chime in with "hey, how about we also cut this that or the next thing because x, y, z suggests it's inefficient and wasteful," they just stand up and fling poop liek a gaggle of angry macaques.

    May 7, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  14. Shari, NY

    Why wait until some nebulous date before Memorial Day? So that you'll have time to hash out some schemes which at this moment are fuzzy? Can the Republicans offer an alternate solution ASAP so that people like me can weigh the pros?.

    May 7, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  15. please

    Obama could cut more if he learned from Bush – just don't put the bigger government costs (Iraq war) on the books!!!

    May 7, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  16. Tina

    Besides the fact that the GOP seems to think they could do so much better yet offer no suggestoins or viable answers, they continue to use fear and by using our children against us. They try to assert their undying concern for the future of our children. Think of your children and grandchildren . . . its the same old BS used when the GOP put the drug companies and HMOs in charge of healthcare and passed the bill that supposedly helped seniors 'afford' their healthcare . . . I love my mother, don't you???

    May 7, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  17. Shooky

    Here's one. get rid of welfare and all social programs that help illegals.

    May 7, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  18. Ghost

    Read the piece the council for a new America. Tax cut to create jobs and tax cuts to spur spending. Oh, and give money to people who will buy a house. In the form of a tax cut.

    I'm sorry, but to be honest, I don't trust any corporation with the money any more than I do the govt. Given the lesser of two evils, I'll go with the man that is at least putting the money towards actual jobs and not some belief that jobs will magically be created by the same people who will outsource overseas, hire illegals and refuse to up the minimum wage all to keep a profit margin high.

    May 7, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  19. Moderate Democrat

    Just goes to show, republicans will complain about EVERYTHING. You spend money, they complain. You save money...they complain.

    The only thing they don't complain about is when you spend money to fight illegal wars, don't win them and torture people.

    With americans like them (republicans), who needs terrorists?

    May 7, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  20. bsmith171

    congress will approve none of these.

    May 7, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  21. Moderate Democrat

    And yet, republicans STILL have no budget to offer. Just complaints about the work the democrats and Obama are doing. Other then complain and whine like little neo-con domestic terrorists, what have the republicans done? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

    May 7, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  22. RDS

    In other words the Republican's don't really have a plan to cut the budget. They need to take a couple of days to figure something out...classic!

    May 7, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  23. judesuper

    I find it amusing that the repubs conveniently forget that they are the ones that got us into this mess in the first place. Now, it's NO NO NO. I say NO NO NO to the them.

    May 7, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  24. Jake

    To all the Dems out there... We had to listen to you for 8 years complain... So you will listen for all 4 years that BO is in office... and I stress 4 years.... 1/20/2013 can't come soon enough....

    May 7, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  25. Fla.

    President Obama respectfully approaches spending cuts, and these Republicans STILL complain. The GOP only reinforces the fallacy of their so-called "limited spending," especially after the last eight years. This party has "No" credibility and "No" solutions again.

    May 7, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
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