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House passes GOP budget rollback resolution

By Josh Richman
Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 at 1:17 pm in Anna Eshoo, John Boehner, Pete Stark, U.S. House.

The House today voted 256-165 to pass H.Res. 38, a resolution directing committees to cut non-security discretionary spending to 2008 levels or lower, “beginning with a down payment in the form of a continuing resolution that will fund the government at pre-‘stimulus,’ pre-bailout levels or lower for the remainder of the fiscal year,” according to House Speaker John Boehner’s office.

The vote came hours before President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, in which he’s expected to extend for another two years the three-year partial freeze of domestic programs that he suggested in 2010.

From Boehner, R-Ohio:

“I am pleased the House has committed itself to cutting Washington spending. At a time when the Treasury Secretary is begging Congress to raise the debt limit, a ‘freeze’ is simply inadequate. Rather than lock in the consequences of Washington Democrats’ job-destroying spending binge, we pledged to cut spending to pre-‘stimulus,’ pre-bailout levels and impose real spending caps. The American people have rejected the idea that we can spend and borrow our way to prosperity, as have many economists. The new majority has listened, cut Congress’s budget, and now we’re focused on keeping our pledge to cut spending to pre-‘stimulus,’ pre-bailout levels. We’ve listened, and tonight the American people will find out whether President Obama has done the same.”

Unsurprisingly, the entire Bay Area delegation voted against it (except for Mike Honda, D-San Jose, who didn’t vote). From Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto:

“The ‘budget plan’ which the Republicans propose lacks the most basic element required of a budget — numbers. In my 18 years of service in Congress and a decade in county government, I’ve never seen a budget plan with no numbers. My constituents deserve a clear strategy for reducing the deficit. The budget resolution should also be a roadmap for addressing how we can create jobs, strengthen our economy, and detailing what programs will be cut and where we will invest. These are tough decisions. They require a serious plan, not a numberless-nothing bill.”

Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, responded to the GOP bill by introducing his own H.R. 413, the “Defense and Deficit Reduction Act,” to take defense spending back to 2008 levels for the next five years. From Stark:

“We can’t be serious about reducing the deficit if we’re going to wall off 60 percent of our discretionary spending from cuts. This legislation would save $182 billion, from a sector riddled with extra planes and engines that the Pentagon doesn’t want. At a time when we are spending seven times the next closest nation on our military, we must look toward defense for waste and potential savings.”

UPDATE @ 3:13 P.M.: Here’s Stark, speaking earlier today on the House floor:

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  • Moral

    I think you are all high, I do not believe that any of you are serious about reducing the deficit or cutting spending. Unfortuately you mirror the ignorance of the general public.

  • ralph hoffmann

    Regarding defense spending for security, the true terrorists in the USA are drivers who are DUI, use cell phones, smoke, speed, or have poor reflezes or vision. They cause 50,000 deaths / year. Dump the Pump, use public transit!

  • John W

    They want to whack $100 billion out of non-security discretionary spending. That’s roughly 6% of the total deficit, but roughly 20% of about $500 billion in non-security disretionary bucket. Let’s see the chop list. Meanwhile, everybody is wringing their hands over the projected $1.5 Trillion deficit in 2011-12; failing to note that at least $350 billion of that is due to the tax cut extensions passed in December. Due to the recession and tax policies, tax revenues are at the lowest share of GDP since 1950, and effective tax rates (total individual taxes as a percentage gross income — before 401k contributions and itemized deductions)are the lowest ever in modern times except for a few years under Reagan. Nobody (except Obama’s deficit commission and Paul Ryan) is addressing where the real money is — SS and Medicare.