Setback for conservatives as many Republicans reject sharply deeper cuts
February 18th, 2011
05:26 PM ET
4 years ago

Setback for conservatives as many Republicans reject sharply deeper cuts

Washington (CNN) - In a highly visible setback for fiscal conservatives in the House, many Republicans joined the majority in rejecting an additional $22 billion in budget cuts after heated interparty debate.

The Republicans' free-wheeling and open approach to debate over a resolution to fund the government offered insight into disagreements within the party that played out on the House floor Friday. The head of the conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC), Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, authored an amendment that would have cut 5.5 percent from non-security funding across-the-board-slashing $22 billion more than the $60 billion the GOP leadership already had committed to cutting. The measure failed 147 to 281, with 92 Republicans and all Democrats voting against it.

Rep. Mike Pence, R-Indiana, had earlier encouraged members to build on the billions in cuts they had already voted to support.

"House conservatives believe we can do more," he said. "Let's do more. Let's do $22 billion more. Let's under-promise, over-deliver and set this nation back on a pathway toward fiscal responsibility and reforms."

But some Republicans had echoed Democratic concerns the cuts were haphazard and went too far. House GOP leaders Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, and California Republican Kevin McCarthy voted against the measure, but Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas voted for it. Speaker John Boehner did not vote, as is traditional for the speaker.

"Across-the-board cuts are lazy members' way to achieve something," said Rep. Dan Lungren, R-California, a member of the RSC.

Idaho Republican Mike Simpson, a senior member of the Appropriations committee, defended the level of the cuts in the overall bill and said the committee's approach to look at each agency separately was preferable to across the board cuts.

"This goes too far," Simpson said.

California Democratic Rep. Sam Farr said the bill was indiscriminate and ineffective.

"What you're seeing with this amendment is you're taking a meat axe to essentially a bloody mess," he said. "If we really wanted to deal with debt, you deal with a plan to get rid of debt, not just with a hacking and hacking away."

Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Florida, told his colleagues that while he was new to Congress, he was not new to fiscal responsibility. He faulted those opposing the $22 billion in cuts for not taking reform seriously.

"You know, I hear the word 'meat axe' and 'draconian,'" Southerland said. "What's 'draconian' and 'meat axe' is leaving every American in this country with $43,000 of national debt."


Filed under: Budget • Republicans
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. maf

    OMG, Cantor even voted against this one!! What has this got to do with jobs? Well, indiscriminate budget cutting ends up costing jobs because every program that gets axed creates a vacuum of jobs for those that worked in the program.
    Must be embarrassing to be Republican these days!!!

    February 18, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  2. Margie

    Maybe they should do what Walker did to make cuts to the unions. He had a surplus, remember. But he gave those making over $250,000 a tax cut. He dropped the estate tax so those millionaires and upwards would only have to pay less than 10% on their estate they inheirted. And there were a slue of other things he GAVE TO THE RICH AND CORPORATIONS.

    Then to make up the defict after giving the rich and corporations all that money. He is now trying to say he needs to take away health care benefits, holidays, and cut the salaries of the public employees. Who by the way make no more and in a lot of cases less than the private sector. He is also talking about privatizing these services to the corporations who footed the bill for his campaign.

    And people want to know why republicans are so crass and crooked. He wants to get rid of Unions so they won't contribute to Democrats and Independents in elections. So the deals the two activists judges Scalia and Thomas made with the Koch Bros to let the corporations buy elections.

    February 18, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  3. IWISHIWASPHARTINGMAN

    A large slice of the GOP are very, very stupid.

    February 18, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  4. Jack

    Did someone say Civil War? Rapidly approaching.

    February 18, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "The Republicans' free-wheeling and open approach to debate over a resolution to fund the government offered insight into disagreements within the party that played out on the House floor Friday"

    Are you kidding? The GOP gave everyone something like 10 minutes of floor time each to debate the funding of the entire federal government in the context of people trying to DEFUND entire regulatory agencies and segments of the government on purely ideological grounds in an attempt to parner political leverage through corporate favor. It's a farce that you would dare to imply that it could be even remotely illiminating. Some "liberal media" you are.

    February 18, 2011 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  6. duke

    I wonder if the panthers and the NAACP will be allowed to speak at the political table?
    Because its going down soon!

    February 18, 2011 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  7. Independent

    Keeping cutting the spending. we have tried spend all you can under republicans and dems alike. It is well past time to reverse the trend. Increasing revenues in Washington only leads to increased spending at an even faster rate.

    Having public employees and union pay their fair share of their own retirement and healthcare is a commonsense thing to do. Many of those workers get cush benefits, pensions and retirement as compared to private sector workers. Those differences plus the job security of public workers more than makes up for the slight differences in pay.

    February 18, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  8. bo-D

    You guy promised 100 billion your short all this drama to win the mid terms people who voted for the republican feel pretty used lol

    February 18, 2011 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  9. phoenix86

    This will come back to haunt the Republicans. Reducing government spending was THE mandate of 2010.

    February 18, 2011 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  10. CaliforniaBC

    Astounding! Republicans are actually coming to terms with the reality of their exuberant promises. Showing they are unable to live up to their own extreme views.

    It was predictable but I didn't see it happening so soon. I guess Obama's pragmatic approach DOES have influence.

    February 18, 2011 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  11. TommyTT

    The people who voted for radical conservatives are now getting what they voted for. They were much better off listening to Obama who, despite the nasty rhetoric and lies piled onto his programs, is a very smart moderate who's plans make sense.

    February 18, 2011 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  12. NoWay

    What goes around comes around. GOP will regret many of their actions. Draconian slicing never works the way 'it's supposed to'.

    February 18, 2011 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  13. rob

    @ Margie

    Wisconsin is facing over 3 BILLION in shortfalls in just the next year !!! The Govenor is trying to close that gap and try to provide an answer to the never ending increases in public employees compensation packages, and unfunded pensions etc.

    The tax cut was an attempt to attract PRIVATE SECTOR JOBS TO HIS STATE. Without which you'll have no tax base left to pay for the services.

    February 18, 2011 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  14. tom az

    Jack more like class warfare

    February 18, 2011 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  15. FINALLY!

    Well, that is a breath of fresh air from the republicans. Thought I'd never live to see that. Yeah, I could see a civil war looming, if not in actual physical combat, but certainly in principle. Makes me wonder if the whole Mayan 2012 thing is about this very issue coming to a head. The haves vs. the have nots. And not just in the US but worldwide.

    February 18, 2011 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  16. bcrunner

    I think the middle class is waking up to the fact that the Republicans are about to destroy what we worked for so hard. All they care is to make the rich even richer...

    February 18, 2011 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  17. Jay

    You need to forget your liberalism or conservatism. We are fast going BANKRUPT. We will either cut spending now in a controlled fashion, or we will cut it later as an emergency measure when we default on our debt – which do you prefer? Right now, people will get less social security, less medicare, etc. Later people will get NONE. Make the wise choice.

    February 18, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  18. willie floyd

    The sooner moderate Reps. accept the fact that the tea party is going to ruin the Rep. party the better off they're going to be. They haven't accomplished a blessed thing since they've been there. Now they're sitting up there wasting time on abortion!! It's a done deal-leave it alone. They ran on jobs-the only reference to jobs that I've heard was cutting back on job training programs. DUMB! They think they made such a great showing in the mid-term elections when the last figure I saw on voter turn out was 38%. Not my idea of a landslide.

    February 18, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  19. Joe

    let's start with the level politicians take a 25% salary cut, then all others thatwork for them, take a 15% salary cut. If they cannot do even that, why should they be allowed to work on a budget? Oh the general public is suppose to suffer, but of course not them.

    February 18, 2011 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  20. ronald malaney

    can we please cut the jobs of all that voted against this cut, I'm with Jack, with out a civil war, will we ever get spending under control?

    February 18, 2011 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  21. Ted San Diego CA

    This is good. The Republicans are having an open, transparent discussion and accepting input from all members. This is in stark contrast to Ms. Pelosi who ruled with an iron fist and almost unilateally forced an agenda that set us on a course similar to that that which caused the demise of Britain iin the late 60's. Cutting big government costs some jobs, but the reduced expenditures and reduced burden of a nonproductive beaurocracy pays enormous dividends in jobs and prosperity. Naturally many public union members, who are shrieking on these CNN pages, don't care for that. However they are in the minority, the overwhelming majority of Americans who do work hard want smaller government. It is just that simple.

    February 18, 2011 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  22. Karbop

    I love how Republicans think they are doing the people's bidding. All these new politicians got elected because people were fed up with everyone in office, Republican and Democrat. I believe they were elected to mete out punishment to banks and others who created the mess we're in and actually listen to our concerns. Once again we're stuck with a group of politicians working on their own agenda with no care for the people. I sincerely doubt anything they do will involve becoming financially responsible in the long run. I guess they don't realize they'll be gone in the next election if they don't listen. I wish we'd just start recalling them as soon as they vote against the voice of the people. They might just start listening then.

    February 18, 2011 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  23. John G

    Union thugs, tea party members take it to the street the new revolition is now at hand.

    February 18, 2011 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  24. pw

    Where are the jobs? That's what the republicans ran on and you dummies elect them.

    February 18, 2011 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  25. Zman

    You have the "haves" and "have nots" and the haves could care less if we all drop dead. They keep cutting services and squeezing the middle class while cutting taxes for the rich and large companies. Example, GE through foreign tax credits paid nothing to the U.S..... ridiculous, I have a family of three and I paid taxes every paycheck. So blatant and shameful but people are eating this B.S. up!

    February 18, 2011 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
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