Senate Democrats readying new offer on budget stalemate
February 24th, 2011
05:26 PM ET
11 years ago

Senate Democrats readying new offer on budget stalemate

Washington (CNN) - The high-stakes political maneuvering over government spending cuts continued Thursday as Senate Democrats for the first time said they are readying specific budget cuts they hope will satisfy House Republicans. Unless the two sides reach an agreement, the government will run out of money and shut down at the end of next week.

However, an aide for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, quickly indicated the proposed cuts don’t go deep enough to end the stalemate.

Democrats say they would save billions by speeding up proposed cuts in President Obama’s budget for 2012 and by getting rid of money for earmarks in the spending bill currently funding the government, according to a Senate Democratic aide who would not speak on the record about the negotiations. That current bill, which expires March 4, funds the government at a level $41 billion below what President Obama proposed for this year, a cost savings both Democrats and Republicans are claiming as they debate deeper cuts.

“We’ve said all along we’re prepared to negotiate beyond the $41 billion that we’ve already put on the table,” the Senate Democratic aide said. “Now were putting out a seven month offer that makes serious cuts, and we’ll see if the Republicans will be reasonable or insist on a government shutdown unless they get all their demands.”

In response, Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said House Republicans would press ahead with their announced plan to vote next week on a two-week long funding bill that that cuts $4 billion in government spending while both sides negotiate a long-term measure for the rest of the fiscal year.

Senate Democratic leadership aides met Thursday with Democratic aides from the Senate Appropriations Committee to identify possible savings from two key areas, the Senate Democratic aide explained.

The first is about $8.5 billion for legislative earmarks in the current government funding bill. The second would come from a package of $24.7 billion in cuts President Obama has proposed for next year. Democrats would institute some of those cuts right away.

An exact dollar figure for the Democrats’ new proposal won’t be available until the package is finalized.

Filed under: Budget • Congress
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Please. Get ready for a shutdown. GOPers will ask for an inch, get given it and then revise it to a mile. Nothing would make them happier than to force a shutdown to make everyone in the middle-class suffer more in hopes they can outplay the Dems at the blame game and score political points for 2012. Compromise simply won't happen unless the Dems decide to throw labor and the middle-class under the bus and let the GOP cut everything that helps the least among us in order to increase the suffering they hope to blame on Obama.

    This whole charade from the GOP/Teatards/Koch Suckers has NOTHING to do with what the American people want: it has EVERYTHING to do with how the GOP thinks they can manipulate us if we don't get what we demand.

    February 24, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  2. a in austin

    I say cut the $40 billion paid to oil companies making record profits and receiving millions back in taxes. I say eliminate the $5 million nascar vehicle. There are things to cut that don't affect the every day life of Main Street voters. BUT....those cuts don't even get a 2nd thought from those who say "so be it".

    February 24, 2011 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  3. American

    It's unbelievable how Boehner and his cohorts claim to be for border security yet just proposed Billions in cuts to our border/national security.

    Instead of wasting time on politically disingenuous ploys that have no chance of passing, both sides should be working together on a realistic solution. Get it done.

    February 24, 2011 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  4. DemoCommunists for a Better Way - Bankruptcy

    Good work John! Keep the pressure on these DemoCommunistas to rollback their huge government expansions of the last 2 years. How about Obama fires his nearly 50 czars and all their staffs?! Never had them before, why do we need them now? Huge waste of our money running a shadow government by unelected, unvetted and unapproved leftists.

    Keep sharpening the axes Republicans and keep reducing this out of control federal government.

    February 24, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  5. sjp

    The first thing the house and senate can do is vote to rollback the last automatice increase in their salaries. A raise was given and takien eventhough THERE IS A DEFICEICENT

    February 24, 2011 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  6. rusty155

    It look like the Republican are really going out to shut down the Government by the end of next week. The Democrats keep giving the Republican some proposed cut but the republican say not enough. It sound to me the Republican don't want the two party to work together. It look to me the Republican are set on my way or the highway , and It shouldn't be that way. If the Republican party want to really wanted to cut the budget , why did the give the Rich a Tax break that going to rise the deficit 690 Billions dollar than cut thing from the poor and middle class. The Republican will back the Rich they don't worry about the poor or the middle class. I think the Tax should go back for everyone be for BUSH TAX CUTS, that will get America deficit down and out of dept soon.

    February 24, 2011 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  7. fayse

    I want someone to please tell me why our elected officials are not telling the truth regarding the retirement age for Social Security. I get really angry when I hear all of those smug, cute little statements saying " we have to raise the retirement age". Please check with your Social Security Administration. This has already been done. 65 is no longer the magic age for getting your full social security. Depending upon your date of birth, the age advances several months and even years. Anyone born after 1945 will not be eligible to draw full social security at age 65. The age for your benefits increase with every year according to your date of birth. Many will be looking at 66,67,68 and beyond. I don't have problem with it, I just want the congress, Senate and Governors to be honest and stop trying to fool the public.

    February 24, 2011 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  8. fayse

    I am sick of hearing the word entitlement when they are talking about Social Security. Every American, living or dead, has paid into the system. There was no choice. To break that agreement now would be taxation without representation. To continuously frighten the elderly is reprehensible. They cannot get this Country back to solvency by penalizing the poorest of the poor, those that are the most defensless. Cut the waste, cut the salaries, pensions, expenses and staff of ever elected official. Stop the wars, bring our men and women home. Cut back on the Military bases all over the World. We should learn something from Tunisa, Egypt and Lybia. Those people are overthrowing the dictators with sticks and stones, they haven't needed or wanted our help. Cut the NASA program, really, are we going to move to the moon? There are many areas that can be cut but, leave the little people alond.

    February 24, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  9. shane

    Sure gas is at 3.39 dollars a gallon...government personnel stand to be laid off next week....and then what....the military folks next....what is wrong ? we spend billions on fixing other country's problems when we cannot begin to fix our own....what is going on ? We need to fix our issues before we give any more of our taxpayers money away to others.....

    February 24, 2011 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  10. marty

    First there was Enron, then Jack Abramoff, then Leyman Brothers and Wall Street, then Bernie Madoff followed by the ruling of the Supreme Court re: political corporate contributions, and now we have the 'new' leadership of the House who forgot about jobs and are throwing daggers at middle class Americans.
    The Republicans want to shut down the government. Soon they'll be asking for the deeds to our houses to pay off the debt and award them extra bonuses for their 'hard' work.

    February 24, 2011 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  11. Josaphat,Daniels.

    I wonder how the gop managed to fool alot of people into thinking that a government shutdown will be the democrat's fault.
    If history is certain this is what they have done before during the clinton administration and it didn't work for them and it is
    supposed to work for them now. That bonehead boener will end up looking like an idiot and will make michael steele look
    wise if he doesn't realise that following in the footsteps of ganggreengrich will not only ruin his political career like gingrich
    but will also lead his party into doomsday.

    February 24, 2011 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  12. Clwyd

    Dems. Do what we have done in Wisconsin and let the republicans shut it down because of their inflexibility and dictatorial rule! The Madison police chief has chastised the Gov. for even considering placing the public at risk for even thinking of planting troublemakers in the peaceful protests over his stubborn non-compromising rule. Gov. Mubarak is a nut!

    February 24, 2011 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  13. Bill from GA

    How about cutting Congressional salaries for a starting point. Granted, it wouldn't make a lot of difference, but symbolically it might help.

    Goldman Sachs says deep spending cuts will cur growth in GDP. Part of repugs plan to make sure Pres. Obama is a one-term President, even if they destroy our economic growth and cost jobs doing it.

    Hope the dems show some guts.

    February 24, 2011 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  14. duckbutter

    cut defense and get our troops home.. why in the world are we still in germany and japan....cut medicare ,, why are we giving away hoover rounds .. back warmers... make those people pay thru means testings... raise social 68... means test for the rich... of course ... they wont do squat.....

    February 24, 2011 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |