Kyl slams Reid debt proposal for counting war savings
July 25th, 2011
07:49 PM ET
3 years ago

Kyl slams Reid debt proposal for counting war savings

Washington (CNN) - The No. 2 Senate Republican blasted the debt ceiling package unveiled Monday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, saying its reliance on $1 trillion in savings from the winding down of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan amounts to "phony scoring."

At the same time, Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona acknowledged Republicans have supported the same approach. House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin counted the same savings in the budget he proposed earlier this year.

"I know the Ryan budget used that approach as well but it's not valid scoring," Kyl told CNN, as he headed to a meeting for all Republican senators to discuss the debt crisis. "It's going to be very hard for Republicans to say, 'Oh, we can get all the way to $2.4 trillion if that is a big piece of the score.' It just doesn't work."

Kyl said he hasn't seen the rest of the Reid proposal so can't speak to other problems that might exist, but said counting the savings from the war will be "a real problem."

"Remember you have a pretty sophisticated constituency out there. The American people have seen too many of these debates where these savings are alleged but then you get to the fine print and it turns out the savings aren't all that which they are cracked up to be," he said. "I think this one doesn't pass the laugh test unfortunately."

Asked if Democrats have an argument that Republicans should support something they've voted for in the past, Kyl said not necessarily.

"Yeah, it's an argument," he said. "But the fact that something was done in previous budget doesn't make it right. It's not something I supported in that budget - but when you have a $3 trillion budget there are a lot of things you don't agree on. But on balance the Ryan budget was very much worth supporting. That particular piece I didn't support."


Filed under: Afghanistan • Debt • Deficit • Iraq • Jon Kyl
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. tigerakabj

    It's the same way they slammed President Obama (among other things) for actually including the 2 wars in the budget that President Bush kept off budget through appropriations. The nerve to actually account for every single penny.

    I hope tonight President Obama lays waste to every single one of their talking points from the past and the future which won't be too hard to predict (i.e., he's trying to tax the rich who are the "job creators"; socialism; arrogance, etc.). People have got to understand that it is the GOP who blew Democrat Bill Clinton's surplus and turned it into a massive defiict, launched an unnecessary war, took our economy into the crapper (and is trying to push it back in), and is trying to wipe out our national economic standing (at least what is left) to make President Obama a one-term president (Mitch McConnell said it).

    Obama/Biden 2012.

    July 25, 2011 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  2. Stephen Colbert

    Of course, Kyl's comments were not meant to be a factual statement.™

    July 25, 2011 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  3. Voice of Reason

    And WHEN was the last time you heard ANYTHING productive or even non-partisian come out of Arizona? This is just another example of simply turning off from any proposal that doesnt have your party's stamp of approval. I get the feeling that if the exact same proposal verbatim had been issued by Jon Boehner, Senator Kyl wouldnt have made a peep other than to congratulate him on his ability to work with those obstinate Democrats.

    Time to get some more open-minded people in office, and throw out anyone who is either overly partisian, or only sees the world in black and white. The time for those games has passed, and America needs leaders with a little more backbone.

    July 25, 2011 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  4. Tony

    You've got to be kidding me. Don't Republicans know that wars cost real money?

    July 25, 2011 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The national debt that the republicans amassed during the Bush years did not even include the unfunded wars. That was kept separate from the real republican debt.

    July 25, 2011 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  6. sue

    Republicans don't want to end the War's.....It's time America tells this bunch of War mongers that it's over, time to bring the troops home and stop spending the billions of dollars a month to keep them going (which would do a lot in bringing down our debt)......and the Republicans have used the wars in their budget and debt reduction plans, but when a Democrat or Obama does it, then it's not acceptable.....every day the GOP is showing America that they have NO Plans for this country......their plan is to make Obama a one term president and then if they can accomplish that they will finish what Bush was doing to this country and take us to the point of NO RETURN.......

    July 25, 2011 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  7. C. Howe Yulikit

    Kyl is the worst of the worst. So when Ryan of the GOP proposed it, the figures were accurate and worth considering, but when Reid of the Dems proposes the same thing, the numbers are off and it's not worth considering? Was this also not intended to be a factual statement?

    "Remember you have a pretty sophisticated constituency out there" Not in Arizona apparently.

    July 25, 2011 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  8. Indymac

    What a truly partisan comment. Does this guy think we are all stupid?

    July 25, 2011 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  9. Marty, FL

    "Phony scoring" coming from Jon "not meant to be a factual statement" Kyl? Oh, the irony.

    In reality, many Americans want the wars drawn down overseas, so our country can reduce the costs and focus resources here at home.

    July 25, 2011 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  10. I'm not kidding

    So here is the question. Did Senator Kyl complain about counting the war savings when Ryan used them?

    Can we put Senators: Kyl, McCain, McConnell, DeMint, Sessions, Shelby; House Representatives:Cantor, Boehner, Virginia Fox, Barton, Joe Wilson – Mr. "You Lie", Bachmann, Jordan; Governors (or former) Brewer, Rick Scott, Kaisch, McDonnell,; Justices: Roberts, Alito, Thomas; Pundits/ Commentators: Beck, Coulter, Palin, Malkin, Limbaugh, Hanity, O'Reilley, Businessmen: Roger Ailes, David & Charles Koch; PAC leaders: Dick Armey, Grover Norquist

    in the Delorean and send them back just 4 days to an island in Norway?

    July 25, 2011 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  11. Rick McDaniel

    Phoney, no. An inaccurate picture, yes. of course the Dems are going to paint a lie, but then that should have been expected.

    July 25, 2011 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  12. Mitzie

    Kyl has been known to lie on the floor of the Senate in order to make a point about Planned Parenthood. However, now he seems to be espousing truth. The wars initiated by the Bush Administration are costing this country billions. Now that these wars will be winding down, shouldn't the lessening cost of these wars also reduce our balooning deficit? Sounds like rational economic thought to me. However, Kyl wants to make it sound as if the war savings are not the issue. REALLY? Saving the country from the expenses of two wars does not make a difference? This is just another attempt by Republicans to deflect the fact that they are as much responsible for the staggering deficit as they claim the Obama Administration is. They tried to buy votes by reducing taxes, giving seniors medicare prescription benefits, and claiming that we should all be impressed with their attempts to sheild us from terror by initiating a war in Iraq. Now they claim that the deficit has nothing to do with the lack of revenues, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are not really a cost, and that "whoa" we shouldn't have given those entitlements to seniors! Does the Tea Party pay any attention to facts or just the fact that a Democrat is President?

    July 25, 2011 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  13. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    These Republicans argue against their own plan being used in spending cuts which is totally ridiculous. Republicans want a 6 month debt plan with higher tax rates that will throw us back to into bigger debt and back to the same argument in 6 months which means they will come back with bigger tax breaks for the rich as a compromise. If Americans can't see their plan we need to default. Throw these Republican bums out.

    July 25, 2011 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  14. Squigman

    If not for the two wars, maybe, just maybe we'd be a lot better off, but the previous administration was hell bent on propping up the industrial war machine, regardless of who was killed in the process. Vote republican. Not a chance.

    July 25, 2011 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  15. ranzabar

    Kyl...another genius

    July 25, 2011 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  16. Kenny K

    Republicans are funning! The $1 trillion savings from war wind-down is good to be used by republican to balance Ryan's budget, but it is not good to be used by democrats for spending reduction budget. Mr. Kyl voted for Ryan's budget although he did not like one of the major contents.:)

    July 25, 2011 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  17. Sank

    We all know who know anyting about the military if they make cuts we know who is to be cut. It will be the National Guard and the Reserves thatto us the ACTIVE MILITARY HAVE TO RELY ON So REATLY FOR NUMBERS. NO MAJOR WAR HAS EVER BEEN FOUGHT WITHOUT THEM AND NOW OBAMA IS TAKING THEM AWAY. WHAT ELSE IS HE GOING TO DO. HE HAS ALREADY KILLED OUR WEAPONS PROGRAMS THAT RELIES ON THE SALETITES TO GUIDE OUR MISSILES AND MANY OTHER THINGS BY CLOSING NASA. HE IS ONE MORE DESTRUCTIVE MORON OR A GENIUS IN THE MATTER OF DESTROYING a nation's defenses . Again he is threatening o ot pay Social Security are the Military retired. This is about as low as low can get.

    July 25, 2011 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  18. J.V.hodgson

    Have we now collectively got how Republicans do spin on reality and the real duplicity ( lies) it involves!!
    1) CNN missed this, Bush kept war spending out of budget deficits for years. Some of us have exceptionally short memories, because it did nevertheless of course increase the US national debt.
    2 As noted above Ryan includes the same in his budget... so How come its Ok there but not for democrats via Reid. Answer we just have to find a way to say no... troops coming home means it costs less, with criticism of Obama's decision (and there was a better way from Republicans only) and they have the gall a) to include in Ryans budget and now Kyl to say it is smart accounting. Pot calling kettle black !!
    3) don't forget a huge part of the deficit is the "Bush " "temporary" " tax cuts. like over $4trillion.
    When will we voters especially ( I think we have) get round the Republican spin that War spending, so called "Bush " "temporary" " tax reductions and defense spending are major parts of the Current even, national budget deficit = debt growth, and does not deny reasonable savings are possible on medicare, medicaid ,and Social security but not without some tax revenue increase to SHaRE THE PAIN. The Ryan pure spend cuts budget was evaluated a non sequitor by any reasonable person but more importantly voters feelings.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    July 26, 2011 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  19. kat

    Listen to the people who pay your salaries, don't screw the ones who make a difference, STOP all the food stamp and welfare fraud and give business a chance to thrive, then you will see growth come to America, For God's sake... wake up. You are ruining our country. I think the time has come when you can no longer buy the votes of low lifes who feed off the system and continue to vote based on who gives them the most hand outs... OBAMA... What a loser, he's lost without his teleprompter!!! What a puppet fopr unions and ACORN, and the poor fool thinks they like him... too funny!

    July 26, 2011 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  20. Donkey Party

    Yeah, sure buddy. Just stick to spouting off more of your "not intended to be factual" hot-garbage.

    July 26, 2011 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  21. Anthony

    Republicans waited a few years before turning on their own version of health care reform. The Massachusetts health care plan was passed in 2006 when Romney was the governor, and became the model for Obama's health care plan. Now Republicans are against the Massachusetts and Obama plans. But at least they waited 3 years. Paul Ryan counted the same saving from winding down the wars in his budget plan this year. Do Republicans have no shame?

    July 26, 2011 05:07 am at 5:07 am |
  22. bo-d

    Anything to get back in to disagree with dems its sad republicans destroying the economy just to make obama a one term president they should be ashamed

    July 26, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  23. bo-d

    Obama got no help from republicans for three years and he's still got us out of the recession its a no brainer in 2012 losing 700000 jobs a month in 2008 with republicans in control tax cuts for rich obvious choice people obama 2012

    July 26, 2011 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  24. Lee

    ala carte politics

    July 26, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  25. rs

    Kyl just won't admit to the damage Bush's off-the-books wars cost the treasury at $10-12 billion a month. Republicans are just hoping to squeeze off a few more dollars for Haliburton- the only real reason we went into Iraq.

    Cut the wars, cut them now. We can't continue or afford the Republican started nation-building.

    July 26, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |