Senate conservatives pressure Boehner on spending cuts
February 4th, 2011
08:21 PM ET
3 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. ZXQ

    $100 B is a drop in the bucket.

    I am sure that they loose $100B a year with bad accounting.

    Heck DoD want to kick in $20B right there. Thats a good start. I'll bet if they tired they could find $100 in money flushed down the toilet in DoD alone.

    February 4, 2011 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  2. Harold

    There were no surprises coming into this... The GOP was aware of what the budget process was... another myth of the GOP... fiscally conservative...

    February 4, 2011 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  3. Mark

    Broken pledge number one.

    February 4, 2011 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  4. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    If you think these Republicans care about jobs for Americans, think again, they care more about a pledge on a piece of paper that got them elected. Boehner and the Republicans can't blame Nancy Pelosi anymore. LOL

    February 4, 2011 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  5. SDvoter

    The amount 'pledged' and a realistic amount appear to differ by quite a margin.
    I believe that 'realistic' will override 'pledged'.

    February 4, 2011 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  6. Jeff

    Why would a majority leader have to be reminded of the most important promise he and his party made to the American people? Answer: because it was all just another GOP dog and pony show to get elected.....how many times are you people going to be fooled before you realize the GOP is in this only for themselves and the wealthy and will never be capable of competently governing? How many times? Geeze.

    February 4, 2011 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  7. Sherri W.W.#1~ILLinois

    If the Repub/Tprs keep going,they are going to ruin America! The states have no money for all the many things their people need.Why? 2things>1 is that the Repubs have refused the states their normal amount of money this year.2 is because all these new Repub govenors are as nuts as the Repubs in WashD.C.,and tell everybody we can live our same,normal lives without raising taxes!Total Nonsense! Only 2 states,Illinois and Oregon, have done right for their people,and said "we got to raise taxes to keep sevices going.and repairs made."Thank God we Kept our Democratic Govenor!

    February 4, 2011 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  8. Dr. W P

    Let's start, and END, with the astronomical defense budget in place to sustain U.S. hegemony and arrogance! Every administration, D and R alike, throw money at this deep, black hole at the expense of domestic health, education, and infrastructure because the rhetoric of "fear" drives their financial relationship with lobbyists and corporations. WAKE UP SHEEPLE! You should have been paying attention a long time ago. Until you take an active and engaged role in your own governing, you will pay even more of a price than you already have.

    February 4, 2011 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  9. SAW

    So, the Republicans that call the health care bill a "job killer" want to lay all the federal employees off. Is this supposed to fix the economy?

    February 4, 2011 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  10. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    HaHaHA! Now it's time to put up or shut up with your pancake like toupee!

    February 4, 2011 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  11. GOP = Greed Over People

    Careful, or all you GOP meanies will make Boehner cry like a little girl!

    February 4, 2011 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  12. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Stupid Is As Stupid Does...

    February 4, 2011 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  13. Clwyd

    Oh, go ahead and just shut down the government you rogue right wind nut cases. See how much support you will get from John Q. American in the next elections!

    February 4, 2011 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  14. michaelam

    Hey, Weeper of the House--how does it feel to actually work? Don't you miss those days of just having to sit on the side lines and obstruct all legislation put before you? Don't you miss those days when you could sneak out the backdoor and catch a happy hour? Now, you have to actually work....Speaking of work....Where are the jobs, John? The American people have spoken and they want jobs. Jobs, jobs, jobs!

    February 4, 2011 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  15. vlj in mn

    This whole GOP craziness seems like an excellent idea for a new realty TV show!

    February 4, 2011 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  16. normajean

    When Repubs talk about cutting spending, they are thinking about the little people, never the ones with too much. They want to cancel out the medical,cut Social Security , things that won't touch them. How about cutting their medical or perhaps their yearly millions and even their pensions. BOY...would that bring down the House.....and the Senate!!!!We NEVER hear about them taking a cut on anything, but they don't care if working and not working people struggle to feed their families and keep a roof over their heads. Question for the Republican voters...."When was the last time that you benefited from any move the Republican leaders made?Seriously?....If you continue to support them, your answer will always be "NEVER!!!!!!

    February 4, 2011 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  17. Henry Miller

    The country needs to quit haemorrhaging money, and it needs to start doing that fast. $100 billion is the least that should be slashed.

    February 4, 2011 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  18. GonzoinHouston

    Who cares? Nothing these wackos want will wind up in law. Boehner can cut all he wants in the house; none of it will pass in the Senate. I hope the TP's will be happy with just symbolic actions. Nothing that they want will ever become law.

    February 4, 2011 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  19. wakeup america

    Oooh – time for accountability!!! By the way John, where are the jobs you promised?

    February 4, 2011 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  20. bob

    David Vitter and John Ensign should not be allowed to sign or vote for anything. They are both crooks and should be charged as such.

    February 4, 2011 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  21. al in memphis

    Such a worried look now that you're House Majority speaker and people are looking for results instead of rhetoric. Guess the easy part of criticizing is over and now you have to back up the talk of cutting the budget to help account for the tax breaks you want to keep for the very rich.

    February 4, 2011 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  22. Zip

    Just repeal the GW Bush prescription drug plan. Problem solved.

    February 5, 2011 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  23. Aaron

    Darn right. Boehner promised the voters $100 billion in budget reductions. He should deliver.

    February 5, 2011 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  24. w l jones

    Just as the ecomoncy comming out of recession and business begin to hire worker again some Republican wont to take 700 billion dollar out the ecomoncy on a merely little one billion dollar investment in creating economic activity.Bless the speaker for putting we the people first.

    February 5, 2011 03:42 am at 3:42 am |
  25. Republican's Are Fraud's !

    Did anyone actually expect them to keep any promises other than meaningless gestures that amount to nothing ! I can't believe how gullible people were to let them have any power again ! Just watch this is just the beginning of a string of lie's that the GOP told in order to regain power ! The GOP is totally useless ! The people that voted for them will soon regret it , if they haven't already !

    February 5, 2011 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
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