Reid's cowboy poetry event stirs budget angst
March 9th, 2011
07:35 AM ET
3 years ago

Reid's cowboy poetry event stirs budget angst

Washington (CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took to the Senate floor on Tuesday to decry what he called a "mean-spirited" Republican plan to drastically cut government spending, arguing the bill would eliminate important programs such as job training, health clinics and ... an annual cowboy poetry festival in his home state of Nevada.

"These programs create jobs," Reid said. "The National Endowment of the Humanities is the reason we have in northern Nevada every January a cowboy poetry festival. Had that program not been around, the tens of thousands of people who come there every year would not exist."

Reid went on to say that the GOP plan to cut $61 billion in government spending is "reckless" and "irresponsible," but in choosing to highlight an obscure art festival, Reid provided easy political fodder for Republicans, who are accusing their Democratic counterparts of failing to propose "realistic ways to tighten our belts," as Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, put it in his own Senate floor speech shortly after Reid.

"It's amazing that the Democratic leader has called Republicans 'mean-spirited' because they're proposing to cut funding for a cowboy poetry festival," DeMint said. "A cowboy poetry festival. Now, I love poetry and cowboys as much as anyone else, but we're looking at bankrupting our nation, destroying the future that was given to us by our predecessors. And we can't even get close to a realistic debate on how we can stop this rampage towards bankruptcy in America?"

The Senate was expected to hold a vote on the GOP plan - as well as on a countermeasure put forth by Democrats - on Tuesday, but Senate leaders announced late in the day that the votes will now take place Wednesday afternoon.

The Republican plan has already passed in the GOP-led House, but both parties have struggled to gain enough support in the Senate for either budget proposal to move forward.


Filed under: Harry Reid • Senate
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "realistic ways to tighten our belts," as Sen. Jim DeMint"

    Right, tighten your belt...unless of course you're a member of the ultra-wealthy 2% WHOSE WEALTH ACTUALLY GREW DURING THE RECESSION and has been growing at a rate of well over 10 times the rate of growth of the wealth of the middle-class over the past 3 decades. No no no...if you're in that 2% you absolutelly need to receive $120B+ in tax cuts, estate tax changes, deductions and loopholes over the next 2 years, despite being able to afford an obscenely lavish lifestyle even if the atx cuts, etc., expired as they were written to do.

    Gee...$120B+ over 2 years. THERE'S YOUR $60B PER YEAR, A$$HATS. But no...the GOP wants them to get their $120B AND for the middle-class to pay for it via $60B in cuts per year to programs that benefit them, helped create the middle-class in the first place and help us do our moral duty and fulfill the obligation and promise of our founders by caring for the least among us. THE NUMBERS DON'T LIE....just look at what the GOP says "has to" be cut and who it effects...as they repeatedly justify failing to raise taxes, close corporate loopholes and STOP THE REDISTRIBUTION OF OUR NATION'S WEALTH TO THE ALREADY WEALTHY (characterizing stopping it, of course, as "redistributing" wealth like Roin Hood) in order to close the budget gap. If you don't realize that YOU ARE PETER YOU ARE GETTING ROBBED BY THE GOP TO PAY PAUL, then you're a lost cause.

    March 9, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  2. New Age Independant

    "cowboy poetry festival"? Really? And the government is paying for that? Do you really need to read anymore to know that Reid is an idiot?

    March 9, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. Ernie

    Senate Majority Leader Harry what kind of "Kool-Aid" are you drinking. This is what you said.

    Republican plan to drastically cut government spending, arguing the bill would eliminate important programs such as job training, health clinics and ... an annual cowboy poetry festival in his home state of Nevada.

    Hay Harry all these jobs are "Government Jobs" not private sector jobs. The the jobs you are talking about are paid by the "Tax Payer" not you. Who care about your "annual cowboy poetry festival in Nevada" your not paying for it the "Tax Payer is paying for it.

    One more thing, by cutting spending in Government only eliminates government jobs not private sector jobs. Maybe you should be talking to "Cleo and the both of you should look into her "Crystal Ball". If Government cuts spending it has no bearing on created or eliminating private sector jobs. You and Cleo an looking into a cloudy "Crystal Ball.

    Hey Harry is you like poetry and cowboys so much why don't your have a "Harry's Wild West Poetry Cowboy Show" and you pay for it, you have 58 million dollars I don't think you would miss a few Mill.

    March 9, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  4. Sam Sixpack

    Do you ever get tired of some liar telling you spending $1,000,000 of your tax dollars to get, maybe one lasting job is a good idea? Or do you just keep drinking the kool-aid? Why not give me a million? I'll hire TWO people.

    March 9, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  5. Right Leaning Independent

    "Mean Spirited" Republicans trying to reign in out of control spending by Democrats/Republicans/Independents in Congress. Does he ever listen to himself before he says this stuff in public??? Reid is a complete moron who is out of touch with the out of control spending that he has been a major part of for years!!

    March 9, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  6. I Sure Don't

    "Had that program not been around, the tens of thousands of people who come there every year would not exist." What!! Is the Cowboy Poetry Festival some sort of love fest where 10,000s of people were conceived.

    Sheesh

    March 9, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
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