Friday, November 11, 2005
House Republican leaders scuttled a vote Thursday on a $51 billion budget-cut package in the face of a revolt by moderate lawmakers over cuts to Medicaid, food stamp and student loan programs.
The episode marked a setback for Republicans on Capitol Hill. They had hoped to use the budget debate to burnish their deficit-cutting credentials with the public and their core political supporters, many of whom are disappointed with their party's performance on spending.
See, Republicans, cutting spending is all well and good, but why do social programs have to be the ones to get the axe? How about that ridiculous tax cut? Are the far right members of the GOP so blind to the needs of the American people that they really think they can gut programs for the needy and win votes?
Again, this is definitely part of a trend we’re seeing here:
The decision by GOP leaders came despite a big concession to moderates Wednesday, when the leaders dropped provisions to open the Arctic National Refuge to oil and gas exploration, as well as a plan letting states lift a moratorium on oil drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.
But moderates countered that the spending cuts in the House budget plan were a separate issue from Arctic drilling. The cuts were too severe, moderates argued, especially when compared with a significantly milder Senate budget plan that passed last week.
I agree here; this is a completely separate issue. As giddy as I am that the ANWR drilling bill died again,
So there are either Republicans with morals, or they know that blood has been drawn and are trying to stop the bleeding. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, but I really don’t care which it is, as long as America is not hurt by their policies.
Oh, and kudos to the Democrats:
Democrats mounted a furious attack on the GOP budget plan for its cuts to social programs and pounded home the message that the overall GOP plan would increase the deficit when coupled with a subsequent tax cut bill.
"The Republican Congress is about to slash more than $50 billion from investments in our children's future in health care and education," said Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the campaign arm for House Democrats. "And yet, because of Republican priorities, they are going to actually add $20 billion to our budget deficit. ... Only in a Republican Congress."
I couldn’t have said it better myself.