Senate conservatives pressure Boehner on spending cuts
February 4th, 2011
08:21 PM ET
4 years ago

Senate conservatives pressure Boehner on spending cuts

Washington (CNN) – House Speaker John Boehner is under new pressure from fellow Republicans in the Senate not to break a House GOP promise to cut $100 billion in spending this year, and do so in an upcoming bill to keep the government running.

Eleven Senate Republicans signed a letter to Boehner saying that "the total value of the fiscal year 2011 spending reductions in the upcoming continuing resolution should be no less than $100 billion. The American people expect at least this level - which is just one-fifteenth of the FY2011 budget deficit."

The continuing resolution expires March 4.

House Republicans promised in their so-called Pledge To America to roll spending back to 2008 levels, and cut $100 billion this year.

But this week House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, announced cuts he is recommending for the rest of the year that would add up to $32 billion when compared with spending levels currently funding the government. Ryan's proposed cuts would be $58 billion compared with spending recommended by President Obama for 2011.

Either figure falls far short of the House GOP vow to cut $100 billion in spending.

In their letter to Boehner, conservative Republican Senators are making clear they believe anything less than $100 billion in cuts will hurt the GOP negotiating position with Senate Democrats.

"Since the Democrats still control the Senate, we need the House-passed (continuing resolution) to be as bold as possible in order to strengthen the hand of Senate conservatives in increasing or maintaining the spending reductions," the 11 GOP senators wrote.

House Republican leaders were already under intense pressure from conservatives in their own chamber to go further in slashing spending. The House Republican Study Committee, which has about 170 members, already said they will push for additional cuts. The RSC issued its own proposal for $2.5 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years.

The House will debate the spending measure to keep the government running the week after next, and GOP leaders have promised rank and file conservatives they would be allowed to offer a wide range of amendments to add additional spending cuts beyond the $32 billion the House Budget Committee is proposing.

The Senate GOP letter was signed by U.S. Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, John Ensign, R-Nevada, Mike Enzi, R-Wyoming, Mike Johanns, R-Nebraska, Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, Mike Lee R-Utah, Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, Marco Rubio, R-Florida, Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, and David Vitter R-Louisiana.


Filed under: House Republicans • John Boehner • Senate
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. KatR

    A significant chunk of the deficit is due to millions of Americans who can't find a job and thus pay taxes and the govt programs that are keeping these people alive and not starving in the streets. It seems to me that the primary focus should be on JOBS right now. The deficit would definitely shrink if more Americans were working.

    February 5, 2011 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  2. diridi

    whiere were you when Bush poured money like crazy dog in Iraq...for nothing...o.k...why didn't you talk then...why you talk now....o.k...Clinton left huge surplus...you know...

    February 5, 2011 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  3. Marie MD

    Oh, oh, did he cry? In his mental condition I bet he doesn't take anyone telling him.what to do that well. You wanted the job. It'S all yours. Good luck since you don't have the fortitude to do the job.

    February 5, 2011 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  4. 4merRepubCT

    Well, here we go! Let's see how the insider-Repugs will meet the demands of their fringe masters now? Will they stop creating strawman targets – NPR, National Endowment for the Arts – and actually get real about their intentions?

    February 5, 2011 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  5. Dawn Tarr Ada, Ohio

    How about you start with the tax incentives for the Oil Industry who had record breaking profits this year. For that matter how about we take away any tax incentives to any corporation who showed a profit for 50% or more. How about the farm subsidies, that gives money to mega farms to NOT plant crops. These kinds of give a ways should only happen when we are in the black. You all talk about making the American Public stand on their own two feet, how about making Corporations stand on THEIR own two feet as well. I am tired of my tax money going to help a CEO pay for yet another yacht or a second vacation home, when there are Americans who can't pay their electric bills. This is a no brainer, but then again if you do that who will contribute to your campaigns........you may have to depend on the American citizens instead of the health care industry, the oil industry, and every other industry who has their hands out. It is longer about serving your Country, it is about serving the big corporations and CEO's.........but then again our SC has said they are people too...........so never mind business as usual.

    February 5, 2011 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  6. mike

    Hey cry baby will have something to cry about now because the tea baggers continue to yell in his ear about not cutting the government spending and the rest of the country want jobs and new business growth the voters needed someone to blame this on and the republicans have step up to the plate they are now the new punishing bag I am waiting ti see how this tax relief for the wealth working out for you

    February 5, 2011 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  7. Jersey Bob

    "Since the Democrats still control the Senate, we need the House-passed (continuing resolution) to be as bold as possible...."

    In other words (and very similar to repeal of the health care legislation): Let's send the Senate something that radically harms existing programs, hurts the general populus, and is intended only as a political stunt. We know that the Senate will pull our irons out of the fire.....

    February 5, 2011 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Careful, you are going to make him cry.

    February 5, 2011 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  9. once upon a horse

    I can picture him bursting into tears over this for sure.

    February 5, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  10. a in austin

    Eliminating the $36 billion we give to mature oil companies would be a nice start.....now that the oil companies are making record breaking profits.

    February 5, 2011 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  11. marty

    Wonderful! Coburn, DeMint, and others who signed the letter to Boehner should list all of the cuts in their pension, salary and perquisites as a good beginning. Cuts should be no less than twenty five percent. They should pay for their own health insurance. They should not get lifetime health insurance coverage. Pensions should be drastically cut. Travel around the states and the world should be severely limited. They should personally attend all, that is all, of the congressional meetings.
    There is more, but. this is a fine beginning. So, Congressmen, put up or shut up!

    February 5, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  12. paul

    I hope the tea baggers realize that cutting a gov't job is still a job to somebody. The budget needs to be cut in a slow and orderly fashion and then continued for coming years, not just one big cut which will throw the economy back in the tank from its now slow recovery. Problem is they made all these rediculous demands in order to get elected in their primaries and now are faced with reality. Slow and steady is the way to go.

    February 5, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  13. Seattle Sue

    This picture of Boehner(the grim weeper) makes him look as though he is about to tear up again.

    February 5, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  14. Louisiana Man

    Yes, Rep Boehner, slash the budget. Where to start–
    Medicare, Medicade, SS, veterans benefits, Pentagon, military, education??

    Never a mention from these hypocrites about cutting the billions it would cost to fund the tax cut for their wealthy pals-
    Just cuts that would affect the middle class–Typically!!

    February 5, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
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