May 7th, 2009
04:26 PM ET
12 years ago

Republicans rip Obama for insufficient budget cuts

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican congressional leaders tore into President Barack Obama's proposed 2010 budget Thursday, arguing that his spending cuts will do little to stem a rising tide of red ink.

The White House released details earlier in the day outlining $17 billion in cuts from 121 federal programs. The total savings amounts to roughly 0.5 percent of the more than $3.5 trillion in spending approved for next year, or 1.2 percent of next year's projected $1.4 trillion deficit if the president's overall budget is adopted.

"With Democrats in Congress adding to the national debt at the rate of more than $100 billion every month already this year and with a budget that triples the already unsustainable public debt over the next decade, it is clear that there is not much more that we can do to protect our children and grandchildren from the unprecedented trillions in additional debt proposed by this administration," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said on the Senate floor.

New Hampshire GOP Sen. Judd Gregg, who withdrew as Obama's commerce secretary-designate earlier this year, also criticized the cuts as minuscule in the face of current spending and deficit projections.

"It's as if this were the Gobi Desert or the Sahara Desert and you came along and you took a few pieces of sand," Gregg said.

It "will have virtually no impact on the deficit and the debt as we move forward ... because of the fact that while (they) are taking these few dollars out ... they are adding back in massive amounts of spending."

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, argued that Obama's proposed cuts are identical to cuts previously proposed by former President George W. Bush and rejected by the Democratic-controlled Congress. He also said House Republicans are working on their own package of proposed spending reductions.

"Over the next couple of weeks, you'll have a chance to see what real budget cuts look like," he said at a Capitol Hill news conference.

Boehner refused to indicate exactly how much money House Republicans want to cut, but his spokesman said the House GOP leadership would release its list of recommendations for cuts before Memorial Day.

Democratic congressional leaders replied by noting that Obama's proposed cuts were only the start of a long budget review process. They also noted that Obama had inherited a poor financial situation from his predecessor.

"I have asked House committee chairs to search out areas of possible savings in the departments, agencies, and program under their jurisdiction," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a written statement.

"House committees have already conducted 163 hearings, which will help inform our efforts as we review the president's proposed budget cuts and work with the administration to achieve additional savings."

Pelosi added that "the legacy of fiscal recklessness inherited by President Obama and the Congress will make our task more difficult, but we are prepared to make the difficult choices that are required to restore fiscal responsibility and strengthen our economy for the long-term."

House Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt, D-South Carolina, said that "while the Congress is unlikely to agree with all the changes proposed by the administration, the process and the resulting proposals are a step in the right direction, and a sign of fiscal discipline."

Roughly $11.5 billion of Obama's proposed savings would come from the discretionary side of the fiscal 2010 budget - that is, for programs whose funding is not automatic. And roughly half of the savings would come from non-defense programs, a senior administration official said in a briefing call with reporters on Wednesday.

– CNN's Suzanne Malveaux and Jeanne Sahadi contributed to this report.

Updated: 4:26 pm

Filed under: Budget • Republicans
soundoff (160 Responses)
  1. tony

    Remember America How we Cried Foul when The Banks Wanted Another 10 Billion dollars.

    Remember When The Auto Companies Wanted A Billion Dollar Bail Out. Lots Haters and Americans said What ..................

    We Cry when President Obama Is flying around in Air Force One.
    "You Know How Much Fuel Cost" Waste Of Tax Payers Money, Remember That!

    How About That "Swing set" For The Girls, The Haters Even Cry About That. "What A waste Of Tax Payers Money they Said. How Dumb Was That.

    What If This Was An Additional 17 Billion Dollars going to Bail out whatever, them what.

    Is 17 Billion Dollars a Lot Of $

    Thay Say We Were Spending 20 Billion a Day For The IRAQ War.

    May 7, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  2. Enlightened Voter

    Hey repubs, question, why did you give gwb a blank check to rebuild Iraq yet whine and oppose President Obama's efforts to rebuild this country????

    May 7, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  3. Fran

    The republicans do not like what the President is doing. What a big surprise. Did anyone expect that they would accept anything the President tries to do. At least he is trying, which is more than the republicans are doing which is nothing as usual, but complaining.

    May 7, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  4. FactCheck

    Dear Lolbama: you must be a product of that GOP No Child Left Behind policy. Please come back when you get an education. Maybe then you can converse with the adults at the table.

    May 7, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  5. Larry

    More Republican BS ...

    May 7, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  6. Veronica

    The whining never stops! Incredible!

    A. As the President clearly stated, his staff is not yet finished going through the budget, line by line. There are a multitude of programs that the administration still must research, however, this is not good enough for the GOP.

    B. I always told child, "it's better to have a little of something, than nothing at all." I needn't explain that further; this analogy pretty much describes the GOP right now.

    May 7, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  7. MatthewDetroit

    Spend Spend Spend.

    If Barack was serious he would not have floated a 3.4 Trillion budget that adds 1 Trillion to the natioal debt in 1 year.

    Cut Health and human services in half today. That is how you cut the national debt. Too many giveaways. Too much welfare. Too much medicaid and medicare being abused.
    Cut all spending for anyone under 65 and over 18. Done Done Done.

    May 7, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  8. WH

    Get with the program or you can start packing cause the majority of Americans are on board with the new Administration's plan(s) for our future. We like them and we are ready to proceed with or without you cry babies. Energy, Education, Health Care, etc., etc. Get on board or go home. This is just the beginning and "yes" it is our kid's future that's on the line and we think these are positive changes that have been tabled for too long.

    May 7, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  9. MatthewDetroit

    Barack is a cute little SOCIALIST.

    And all you sheep love to follow him. Refuse to work and just take take take. Get a clue people. President Bush was wrong to spend and Barck is wrong as well.

    May 7, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  10. joc,alabama

    Its funny how the rethugs would vote to spend 10 billion a month in Iraq but want build a school in South Carolina because its in a black area of the state and there are no votes for them in that area,to me 17 billion can build a lot of schools

    May 7, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
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