Report: House GOP in revolt against leadership, demanding steeper budget cuts

posted at 5:48 pm on February 9, 2011 by Allahpundit

Actually, says Rich Lowry, they’re “almost” in open revolt, which means … I’m not sure.

We’re hearing that the Republican Study Committee and GOP freshmen were almost in open revolt at the Republican conference this morning over the initial round of cuts set out by Paul Ryan. The Ryan ceiling falls shorts of the headline number of $100 billion set out in the Pledge, and is therefore considered vastly insufficient. Says a source familiar with the meeting, “It sent a clear unequivocal message to leadership — ‘Houston, you’ve got a problem.’” The leadership assured conservatives at a RSC lunch later in the day that the message had been received. Says a GOP leadership aide, “The bill that passes the House will cut substantially more.”…

A GOP aide close to House conservatives tells NRO: “If the bill that comes to the floor next week does not get to the $100 billion mark ($378 billion in total non-security spending for the year), our plan has always been to offer an amendment to close the gap. So if they come in at $420 billion for non-security, we’d go for another $42 billion in cuts to get down to the $378 billion total. Leadership has said that their plan is just the ‘first bite at the apple.’ We understand that, but a lot of conservatives just think the first bite needs to be bigger.”

Cantor claimed after today’s lunch with Obama that “we’re serious about cutting spending,” but the rebellion against the GOP’s proposal was already underway last night when Jeff Flake and Cynthia Lummis voted against it on the Appropriations Committee because it didn’t go far enough. They want to cut $100 billion this year, the figure Republicans initially promised to trim in the Pledge to America before they started inching away from it and settled on the new figure of $58 billion. Which is super, but even that larger figure is less than 10 percent of the $1.5 trillion deficit that’s projected for this year. It’s a token cut, more significant as a signal to the base that “we mean business” than a meaningful dent in fiscal insanity.

I think it’s this simple: If a Balanced Budget Amendment doesn’t gain serious traction in Congress soon — the debt ceiling debate might be its only hope — then realistically only a fiscal catastrophe will force the feds to balance their books. Even Rand Paul, who’s pushing a whopping $500 billion in cuts, acknowledges that that’s merely a first step given the magnitude of the problem. In fact, I wonder if the “open revolt” is a bit of kabuki being practiced by the House GOP to make them look like uncompromising hardliners on spending despite the fact that the deeper cuts they’re demanding are still comparatively insignificant. The media’s practicing that kabuki too: Behold CNN describing the proposed cuts of $58 billion as “massive” even though that figure represents just three percent or so of this year’s deficit. And here’s a new piece from National Journal lamenting the fact that Obama’s budget proposal would cut $3 billion in federal energy assistance to the poor, which will achieve instant talking-point status on the left as a rationale for deficit spending into oblivion.

Kent Conrad, who made himself a lame duck a few weeks ago when he said he won’t run again, is going to take a shot today at convincing Senate Democrats that the debt really, truly is a looming disaster that needs to be dealt with ASAP. That’s also super, but the only way to seriously deal with the debt is through entitlement reform, and neither party will be touching that with a presidential election next year. (That’s why they keep tossing this political football around.) But even talking about it is progress at this point. I think. I hope?


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Comment pages: 1 2

ernesto, with the ease of a seasoned liberal thief, says that allowing people to keep a greater share of their own earnings is “taking” dollars from “the poor, the arts, or science and giving it back to the rich.’ He slipped up by including the word “back.”

GaltBlvnAtty on February 9, 2011 at 7:43 PM

ernesto on February 9, 2011 at 7:27 PM

Pretty much everything you said regarding cuts I agree with, except for the declaration of wars in Irag and Afghanistan. How do you prove those?

I have no problem with eliminating the PATRIOT act, the DEA, the NEA, the Dept. of Education, the EPA, the FCC, the FDA, the federal DOJ, food and energy subsidies, NCLB, where else can I go???

The poor can get help from charities, as is what pretty much all religions advocate, but the taxpapers have NO responsibility to fund the poor, the arts, or sciences, PBS or NPR.

ladyingray on February 9, 2011 at 7:44 PM

Its going to take a collapse. The dems will not deviate. Plenty of people have the “im entitled to my government money” attitude. And they vote.
Collapse it is then.

Revenant on February 9, 2011 at 5:58 PM

I have to agree. Massive dysfunction, cowardice, ignorance, ideological fanaticism, poisonous bad faith and self-interest — too many impediments to reform. The Left will never concede anything for the good of the country because they simply don’t care about the country, and the Right is deeply gutless and clueless. The nation cannot agree anymore on any basic presumption of “commonweal.” The center cannot hold.

In this drama, Obama has the role of the effective agent of destruction, representing the basic urge to anarchy of his ideology and his savage and idolatrous followers. They are impelled to tear down, have no concept of what holds a society together — the shared sacrifice and essential obligations of freedom our founders laid out — and no interest in learning. A core of decency and common sense and love of order does maintain itself in the country but it has virtually no voice at the levers of power. It would be the driving force of restoration after the collapse.

We may go to the brink and pull back, but I can’t see it — if we went to the brink it would just be another opportunity for someone in power to “exploit the crisis”. That cannot happen again — the moral laws of nature won’t permit it. No, the extraordinary virtue, courage and vision required to lead us back from the precipice is not in sight. It will take a person, one in particular, able to lay out the case and assume the awful burden of telling people what they don’t want to hear and binding them to the cause of salvation of America. But what does that even mean to people anymore? The Left despises that vision of America, and would rather it all went to ruin than to unite in restoring it. The Right meanwhile hasn’t the skills or courage to articulate or defend its vision, and is unwilling to wage the sort of all-out war on the Left required to hold to their vision.

rrpjr on February 9, 2011 at 7:54 PM

The poor can get help from charities, as is what pretty much all religions advocate, but the taxpapers have NO responsibility to fund the poor, the arts, or sciences, PBS or NPR.

ladyingray on February 9, 2011 at 7:44 PM

So, suppose you suddenly lost your home, your job, your health insurance, your car, your savings, everything. You would count on charities to help by giving you a place to live, food to eat, provide your health care? They don’t have the resources to do that for everyone in need, despite the charitable donations they receive. Then what options would you have? You’d have to go on the government rolls or live on the streets.

scalleywag on February 9, 2011 at 7:55 PM

scalleywag on February 9, 2011 at 7:55 PM

Wrong.

My church supports a program via a local network with other area churches for the homeless. I’d enroll in that program. That program would give me and my family a safe place to live, meals, job training if needed, family finance training if needed, any child care outside of school hours as needed, clothing, whatever…government does not have to be involved.

ladyingray on February 9, 2011 at 8:12 PM

ernesto on February 9, 2011 at 7:07 PM

It’s PROVIDE for the common defense and promote the general welfare. Big difference.

Cindy Munford on February 9, 2011 at 8:13 PM

It’s PROVIDE for the common defense and PROMOTE the general welfare. Big difference.

Cindy Munford on February 9, 2011 at 8:13 PM

Yeah, libs don’t see the difference….

ladyingray on February 9, 2011 at 8:39 PM

ladyingray on February 9, 2011 at 8:39 PM

I know, they read “where’s mine” in everything.

Cindy Munford on February 9, 2011 at 8:58 PM

So, suppose you suddenly lost your home, your job, your health insurance, your car, your savings, everything. You would count on charities to help by giving you a place to live, food to eat, provide your health care?

And what about the fact that a very large percentage of those lost homes, jobs, health insurance, cars, and savings can be directly attributed to GOVT INTERFERENCE in the economic system?

That is the part that you Leftists never grasp. Your interference in the economic system – no matter how well intentioned – ends up bringing about the poverty and destitution that you claim to want to alleviate!

rvastar on February 9, 2011 at 9:33 PM

How is it the “wimpy” Dems can raise the spending by 1,500 Billion but the big bad GOP can’t manage to chip off 5 or 10%?

AshleyTKing on February 9, 2011 at 9:34 PM

scalleywag on February 9, 2011 at 7:55 PM

Or you could go home to family? Close friends?

catmman on February 9, 2011 at 11:03 PM

We sent these folks to D.C. to cut spending so CUT SPENDING!!Let Obama talk it to death. Act! Listen to America!We languish out here with oppressive local, state, and federal taxes. We languish out here with oppressive local, state, and federal rules and regulations!Bankruptcies are up, Foreclosures are up,Unemployment is up,gas&food costs are up. Yet our elected official spend like drunken sailors. We need to repeal Obamacare but more importantly we must repeal Obama and any and all tax and steal politicians. Enough is Enough already!I’m beginning to believe the only person with enough balls to act is Sarah Palin.Talk is cheap! Cut spending!

Marco on February 10, 2011 at 11:40 AM

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