Submitted by: Tony Caputo
The spending battle finally begins this week in Congress
This past week the Senate continued debating the Federal Aviation Admin. bill but mostly was in recess while Senate Democrats conducted their legislative agenda retreat in Charlottesville, VA. What emerged from their multiple-day retreat was a clear message that they intend to attack the GOP as they construct their budget cutting Omnibus appropriations bill which will continue the funding of our Federal Government through the end of this fiscal year. (Sept.30, 2011). This or CR as it is commonly called will be the subject of debate on the House side and some talk on the Senate side this coming week. The Senate Majority Leader said on the Senate floor last week that the Congress needs to concentrate on the “quality of the cuts not the quantity.” He went on to say that the cuts should not “take teachers out of the classroom or police officers off the streets.” This theme will be echoed throughout the halls of Congress beginning this week as the Senate resumes the Federal Aviation administration bill, the House begins action on the and the President submits his annual budget to Congress Monday, Feb. 14.
The House side will begin their debate on the spending bill as early as Tuesday. The Chairman of the Appropriations comm. Cong. Rogers (R-KY) posted the $100B in cuts late last week. You can view them here
Expect the rhetoric to continue from the Minority Leader, Cong.Pelosi (D-CA) and other democrats as they continue to back up her claim made in her farewell speech as Speaker of the House when she said on Jan. 5, 2011 that: “Deficit reduction has been a high priority for us. It is our mantra, pay-as-you-go."
Minority Whip said in his Friday, Feb. 11, weekly whip report
in an effort to counter the GOP’s $100 billion in spending cuts that: “President Obama, on the other hand has already proposed a 5-year spending freeze that will save $400 billion, and Democrats are ready to work in a bipartisan way to address the deficit.” However, many in Congress see the President’s alternative much like telling an out of control teenager who has maxed-out the parents credit cards that they will be cut off from any more credit limit increases. The only problem with this scenario and with the President’s proposal is that the teenager is still allowed to charge on the credit card at the same out of control rate that existed before the credit increase was capped. With this thought process in mind, expect several amendments to be offered by members of the House minority party when the House considers the Omnibus appropriations bill under an open rule this week. This open rule will allow for minority party amendments, presumably on allowing more spending. It is worth noting that open rules were almost never allowed during the four year reign of . Minority Whip Steny Hoyer promised that: “Next week we will fight for needed investments in our economy and call for a real, serious plan to reduce the deficit.”
Stay tuned to hear the rhetoric and see the democratic alternatives to the GOPs plan to cut back at least $100 billion. This spending bill needs to be passed by March 4, 2011, so let the games begin!