Republican senators to House tea partiers: Make a deal on the budget already

posted at 7:27 pm on April 1, 2011 by Allahpundit

Let’s finish the undercard, i.e. this year’s budget, and move on to the main event.

“There’s a sense that we don’t want to use too much of our political capital on last year’s budget battle,” said a senior Republican senator. “We just introduced our balanced budget amendment and we want to focus on that, the debt limit and the budget for 2012.

“People want to move on,” said the lawmaker.

“All of us want to make real reductions over the next six months, but we’re much more concerned about real reductions in the debt over the next 60 years,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Republican conference…

“I do agree the debt ceiling is the more important battle at this point,” said Hatch.

It’s not just the RINOs who are restless about getting bogged down in an argument over $33 billion in cuts versus $61 billion. Rand Paul, who prefers $500 billion in cuts as a starting point, put it in perspective:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a founding member of the Senate Tea Party Caucus, said $33 billion in cuts would have little impact on the deficit.

“If we were going to have a $1.65 trillion deficit this years, that means we’ll have a $1.62 trillion deficit. To me that’s a meaningless cut,” Paul said.

I take it a $1.59 trillion deficit, which is where we’ll be if the House GOP bill is passed as is, isn’t much more meaningful to him. (Paul added that he hasn’t heard of any senators demanding that the House GOP hurry up and make a deal.) Serious question: Let’s say that Boehner decides to go to the mat on the House budget and we end up with a shutdown because the two sides can’t agree. And let’s say that today’s Rasmussen poll is right on the money — 57 percent of the public ends up siding with the GOP. How, precisely, would that translate into greater Democratic concessions on the holy grail of the liberal welfare state, i.e. entitlements? Those who support a shutdown seem to believe that forcing it and winning it will strike some sort of meaningful blow to the left’s resolve in defending Social Security and Medicare. Is that right — trimming a tiny bit of discretionary fat will lead to a Waterloo on mandatory spending? New numbers:

The partisan splits aren’t as wide as you’d think, either. On Medicare, 84 percent of Democrats want spending either increased or kept the same (47/37); for Republicans, it’s 83 percent (39/44). Even among tea partiers, it’s at 80 percent, albeit with a 28/52 split on whether to increase spending or merely maintain it. The numbers are similar for Social Security: 84 percent of Democrats oppose cuts (39/45) versus 86 percent(!) of Republicans (35/51). Tea partiers again clock in at 80 percent, with a 29/51 split on whether to boost spending or keep it as is. What’s especially interesting about that poll is that it shows how deeply misinformed the public is about how much we spend on most federal programs (although they do seem to have a fair sense of how much goes to entitlements). That’s significant because, theoretically, cutting more in this year’s budget per the House GOP bill might convince America’s misinformed voters that the “hard cuts” had already been made. You can imagine the lying Democratic ads: “We just cut a whole $61 billion. What more do these Republicans want?”

We’ll know next week which way Boehner wants to go. In the meantime, the House passed a resolution today asserting that if the Senate doesn’t pass a budget of its own next week, then the House budget will become the law of the land instead. Which is, er, not true, and could never be true constitutionally, but they’re looking to make a dramatic statement about how fed up they are and that certainly makes it. So dramatic was it, in fact, that it drove Anthony Weiner to read from his favorite children’s book on the House floor. Aw. Click the image to watch.


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fine. the house should send the senate a 100billion cut and in 3 months if the senate doesn’t approve it send them a 150 billion cut and so on.

unseen on April 1, 2011 at 7:29 PM

Ok ok, I will say it: The GOP will betray you.

CWforFreedom on April 1, 2011 at 7:29 PM

But there are tens of us!!!

mjbrooks3 on April 1, 2011 at 7:30 PM

Why sure, let’s be good little Republicans and cave in to the left like we always do . . . then we can “move on”.

rplat on April 1, 2011 at 7:31 PM

I am so tired of the cliches”we have to move on/forward” and “mistakes were made”. We need fewer lawyers and more real people in govt,,then maybe we can get something done.

retiredeagle on April 1, 2011 at 7:33 PM

The Republicans are already baby-eating extremists. In for a penny, in for a pound. Go for the 61 billion.

entropent on April 1, 2011 at 7:36 PM

The townspeople peeked from behind darkened windows as the sun beat down on a lone man on main street, waiting, waiting for the tormenter of them all. Though all had suffered, the man was alone, waiting. He would not back down, he would do the Right Thing, not because his success was guaranteed, but because the lonely man would not submit, would not live whatever was left of his life on his knees.

A clock began to chime somewhere, clearly heard in the silent town, it was high noon. The man waited.

Scribbler on April 1, 2011 at 7:36 PM

The partisan splits aren’t as wide as you’d think, either. On Medicare, 84 percent of Democrats want spending either increased or kept the same (47/37); for Republicans, it’s 83 percent (39/44). Even among tea partiers, it’s at 80 percent, albeit with a 28/52 split on whether to increase spending or merely maintain it.

With 84% of ‘Republicans’ keeping the biggest entitlements afloat even though we obviously can’t afford it…then the GOP isn’t betraying it’s base at all…it’s a miracle they aren’t spending more.

But I have to ask…what were the teapartiers protesting for if they cave on this stuff so easy…it looks like it’s not the Republicans politicians who are into the welfare state…but the voters.

None of this makes any sense…I say throw it all out…Medicare/Medicaid, Social security…etc for anyone who is more than 10 years away from getting those benefits. I’ll go along with it in a heartbeat…and I’m getting uncomfortably close to that age…

AUINSC on April 1, 2011 at 7:36 PM

I have got to ask, do you good ole boys r’s actually know or care about the voters or our Republic? How about for once in your gosh knows how long in dc take a stand for us(you know the taxpayes and voters)? If you do not get a grip, bho will get back in and your worthless do nothing, the press won’t like me, hind end is outta here.
L

letget on April 1, 2011 at 7:37 PM

What part of ‘Stop The Spending’ is so hard to understand?

ajacksonian on April 1, 2011 at 7:37 PM

The operative phrase here should not be “mistakes were made.”

The heart of the matter is that these out-of-touch, greedhead goons are still making mistakes.

And we made the biggest mistake of all by voting for them and not doing something when they continued on their destructive ways.

Much as I despise the Democrats, I’m coming to loathe the squishy, spineless Republicans equally.

They all need to go before the nation collapses.

MrScribbler on April 1, 2011 at 7:37 PM

fine. the house should send the senate a 100billion cut and in 3 months if the senate doesn’t approve it send them a 150 billion cut and so on.

unseen on April 1, 2011 at 7:29 PM

Hmmm, I like that!

Dr. ZhivBlago on April 1, 2011 at 7:38 PM

The repubs better get together and pick the fight that the country understands the best and not the fight that means the most to insiders. They are all VERY IMPORTANT and we can win but make the best fight you can and defend it.

tim c on April 1, 2011 at 7:39 PM

So conservatives ‘cave’ now in order to ‘move on’.

Which tells the Democrats that if they push the conservatives to the wall on the FY 2012 budget – the conservatives will cave again in order to ‘move on’.

SHUT IT DOWN!

GarandFan on April 1, 2011 at 7:40 PM

I knew we could not go a day without getting ourselves some Weiner. We loves ourselves some Weiner. I dont know what I would do if I did not get my fill of Weiner.

All my comments are being censored by the HotAir police.

WoosterOh on April 1, 2011 at 7:41 PM

My sister once said to me “million, billion, trillion: What’s the difference?” — I replied “One dollar, a thousand dollars, a million dollars: What’s the difference?” — She said “really?” — Sisters are bad at math.

pappy on April 1, 2011 at 7:42 PM

People do not want to “move on” until spending is slashed and entitlements are reformed and Obamacare is defunded.

Grow up little senators or we’ll primary you and put someone credible in your place!

clnurnberg on April 1, 2011 at 7:42 PM

“There’s a sense that we don’t want to use too much of our political capital on last year’s budget battle,” said a senior Republican senator

What does that mean? The “political capital” argument only works against big government types. It is illogical to say that you can lose political capital by not pushing the country further into debt quickly enough.

Buddahpundit on April 1, 2011 at 7:43 PM

In the meantime, the House passed a resolution today asserting that if the Senate doesn’t pass a budget of its own next week, then the House budget will become the law of the land instead. Which is, er, not true, and could never be true constitutionally, but they’re looking to make a dramatic statement about how fed up they are and that certainly makes it

This is something stupid the Democrats would do. The problem with giving these guys wiggle room and time, you are never sure if they are still heading in the right direction. Excuse us for not trusting D.C..

Cindy Munford on April 1, 2011 at 7:45 PM

So what Constitutional justification did the GOP include in this silly resolution they passed?

Mark1971 on April 1, 2011 at 7:52 PM

As I watch the so called ‘experts’, like allahpundit, immediatly start talking about massive cuts to social security, medicare, and medicaid I can only wonder if they have ever looked at the 2012 budget?

There is massive spending, 1.8 trillion worth, OUTSIDE of those programs AND DEFENSE next year!

False choices made by people that never looked at even Obama’s 2012 budget!

Freddy on April 1, 2011 at 7:54 PM

How about both!
Pass a CR with meaningfull cuts, and a budget with more cuts.

Glad I could help…

massrighty on April 1, 2011 at 7:56 PM

Sure why not?

Lets move on to the Famous Final Scene where the GOP really sticks it to the taxpayers. We all know or suspect what is coming, so why delay it? At least when they gut out on cutting anything meaningful, raise the debt ceiling and do a weak sister act of trying to pass some great sounding legislation that is DOA, we can go third party with a clean conscience.

sharrukin on April 1, 2011 at 7:56 PM

Tea Party to Republican Senators: Get Serious About This Budget or Start Looking for Another Job….Very Soon!

Rovin on April 1, 2011 at 7:57 PM

The establishment GOP believe a “deal” will make our fiscal nightmare disappear.

Valiant on April 1, 2011 at 8:02 PM

Dear Republican RINO’s….Get bent.

jawkneemusic on April 1, 2011 at 8:04 PM

Senior Republican lawmakers, however, say they need to preserve their political juice for the fight over the debt limit and entitlement reform, which is more important.

I don’t see why you can’t have both.
The dems are not going to compromise on anything, let alone $33B. The larger question, how will the Repubs address the 800lb gorilla in the entitlement room? Cause the dems won’t touch it and they’ll scream blue murder if handouts are cut. They’ll be in favor of raising the debt limit and taxing more for entitlements, but in the end, nothing changes.

The Repubs are convinced that a shutdown will mean political suicide. Perhaps, but putting chewing gum to seal the debt dam from bursting is not a solution.

Kini on April 1, 2011 at 8:04 PM

How difficult was it for the Dems to slash 100′s of billions from the initial cost of Obamacare so as to get it under a trillion for passage?

Allahpundit, for heaven’s sake, we are quibbling over $61 billion out of a trillion plus deficit!!! If it is so difficult for the Dems to give in to that figure, what makes you think the GOP can force through any meaningful reform in the 2012 budget or anything else for that matter?

The Dems are fighting for 2012… their goal is to demoralize the Tea Party base that swung the 2010 elections in the GOP’s favor. Because if 2010 is repeated in 2012, they know Obama and the Senate will be goners for sure.

If the GOP does not fight harder than they have ever fought before, expect the Dems to run ads in 2012 that illustrate broken promises from the GOP and make no mistake – the $100 million pledge will be the first ad to roll.

TheRightMan on April 1, 2011 at 8:04 PM

if we don’t have the money then we need to cut 1.6 trillion from the budget. why is this so difficult?

maineconservative on April 1, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Maybe the question should be:

“Do you like everything you purchase have “Made in China” on it?”

And why are obama pet corporations, GE, paying next to nothing in taxes? Why do we need a rebate on expensive electric cars, and THEY NEED TO TAKE OUT THE PRE-OBAMACARE FUNDING!

Kini on April 1, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Those who support a shutdown seem to believe that forcing it and winning it will strike some sort of meaningful blow to the left’s resolve in defending Social Security and Medicare. Is that right — trimming a tiny bit of discretionary fat will lead to a Waterloo on mandatory spending?

It has nothing to do with the Democrats in my opinion, it has to do with whether or not Republicans keep their promise or prove it was a lie.

FloatingRock on April 1, 2011 at 8:10 PM

It is certainly TEA PARTY TIME again! Time to raise up primary opponents for all the squishy leaders and extract pledges from those that were elected in 2010 that they will never ever vote for these squishes as leaders again!!!

Seriously, I shudder to think of Mitch “I’ll take a back seat to budget cuts” McConnell being voted in as Senate Majority Leader.

TheRightMan on April 1, 2011 at 8:12 PM

“There’s a sense that we don’t want to use too much of our political capital on last year’s budget battle,” said a senior Republican senator. “We just introduced our balanced budget amendment and we want to focus on that, the debt limit and the budget for 2012.

What political capital? Why not focus on all of the above, all out, all the time, non-stop…

“People want to move on,” said the lawmaker.

pure comedy…

equanimous on April 1, 2011 at 8:13 PM

Much as I despise the Democrats, I’m coming to loathe the squishy, spineless Republicans equally.

They all need to go before the nation collapses.

MrScribbler on April 1, 2011 at 7:37 PM

All of this anger against our politicians…..and yet, it doesn’t really get to the REAL heart of the problem:

Americans only like the IDEA of cutting spending. It’s a nice concept to them. Ask them if the government should cut spending, and a majority – at the moment at least – will say every time that it should.

But when you get down to actually cutting anything other than SOME discretionary spending and MAYBE some defense spending too, people lose their minds over it. Not just Democrats. Republicans too. AND Tea Partiers.

The politicians are just the enablers. It’s the American people who have become addicts. I’m almost at the point where I think a Greece-style collapse is inevitable.

Vyce on April 1, 2011 at 8:15 PM

If the Reps want to go nuclear – then tie the repeal of Obamacare to any vote on increasing the debt limit. Force Obama to choose – after all, his pet legislation has been ruled unconstitutional.

TheRightMan on April 1, 2011 at 8:16 PM

No. More.
The GOP is NOT about ‘the people’ and/or being fiscally responsible.

Every single one of them is trapped under a lobbyist.
Join me, fellow “extreme” Tea Party people, in the next voting booth.

I am so. fed. up. to. here. with the ‘royalty’ on the hill.

bridgetown on April 1, 2011 at 8:16 PM

I think the reason middle America is hesitant to cut SS is they paid into it. They looked at it as part of their retirement. Its money they earned and were told theyed get back. I think people want the crap cut before SS for that reason

ldbgcoleman on April 1, 2011 at 8:32 PM

I took a Quinnipiac poll on the phone this evening. It dealt mostly with Florida but one of the questions was:

Do you personally like President Obama and approve of his performance as president?

Do you personally like President Obama but disapprove of his performance as president?

Do you personally dislike President Obama but approve of his performance as president?

Do you personally dislike President Obama and disapprove of his performance as president?

In fairness they asked the same thing about Gov. Scott. I told them it was a stupid premise, I am unacquainted with either men.

Cindy Munford on April 1, 2011 at 8:38 PM

The politicians are just the enablers. It’s the American people who have become addicts. I’m almost at the point where I think a Greece-style collapse is inevitable.

Vyce on April 1, 2011 at 8:15 PM

I don’t know where you live or what your financial condition may be, but there are plenty of us out here in the World Beyond D.C. who are, shall we say, financially challenged these days.

Like others in the same position, I have cut my spending to the bone, have retired my credit cards and, when things get extra-rough, have been known to skip a meal or two. None of us draw and government assistance.

The Congressional swine don’t go without anything, and neither do their pets among campaign contributors, buddyroos and people-who-might-do-them-a-favor-some-day. They get vacations, more than any ordinary mortal, and if they want a park, bridge or outdoor toilet with their name on it, hey, they go ahead and put one up. With our money.

There’s no more blood to be squeezed from this turnip, and I’m far from alone. If the current race to fiscal destruction continues, some of us may have to get a bit rude.

If it’s a choice between buying milk for myself or paying some Senator’s bar tab, or contributing to the welfare plasma-TV-in-every-room fund for the “disadvantaged,” I know where I’m going, and Harry Reid, Osama Obama and even squish Repubs calling for “moving on” ain’t gonna like it.

MrScribbler on April 1, 2011 at 8:42 PM

Old farts with grey hair are just not going to cut it this election cycle.

percysunshine on April 1, 2011 at 8:44 PM

How about we defund Congress!!!!

Barring that wonderful fantasy above….how about :

THE PAPPY PLAN!!

1. Seal the border!!! (Then you don’t need Entitlement Reform)

2. 10% Across the board Federal Spending cuts!!

THAT is a common sense easy to understand approach that is FAIR!!

If the Dems pitch a fit then demagogue them and call them EXTREME, FAR LEFT RADICALS!!

PappyD61 on April 1, 2011 at 8:50 PM

AMF RINO’s

Dingbat63 on April 1, 2011 at 9:07 PM

Rino watch, don’t let Hatch fool ya with his 2012 conservative outreach

Raisedbywolves on April 1, 2011 at 9:26 PM

“People want to move on,” said the lawmaker.

Get over it.

Everyone— conservatives, moderates and liberals who are fiscally concerned– will punish you big time if you’re just more of the same. Except in this era, we’re taking people out in primaries, so don’t depend on the old playbook. And so far, you show every symptom of being just more of the same.

obladioblada on April 1, 2011 at 9:32 PM

How, precisely, would that translate into greater Democratic concessions on the holy grail of the liberal welfare state, i.e. entitlements…

OK, so the public doesn’t want cuts, but do want reductions in spending and the deficit. Seems to me that the Republican message should be that we can’t have it both ways, especially with the Dims insisting we can.

n0doz on April 1, 2011 at 9:52 PM

Take your “Deal” and stick up your a$$…Sideways. Do America a favor. Reach down, and see if you have a pair. If you don’t, take a hike.

Sam_I_Am on April 1, 2011 at 10:08 PM

Whoever caves first loses the war. Period.

Metanis on April 1, 2011 at 10:30 PM

I can not stand Wiener, he looks down his noes at everyone, especially the voters, he thinks Republican voters are just plain stupid and he has said so in the past. I would almost move to New York just to vote against him next time but I would have to hold my nose around all those liberals that live there.

old war horse on April 1, 2011 at 10:46 PM

“People want to move on.” dot org

What a One Delta Ten Tango!

patch on April 1, 2011 at 10:47 PM

The beauty of letting this shutdown now is it shows the Democrats for what they are. If they’re willing to go to the mat for an insignificant $61 billion, what makes people think they’re prepared to lead in cutting what’s really necessary? I believe the House should hold their ground because the Democrats are on the wrong side of this argument and they won’t realize it unless they’re allowed to do what they do best, and have the polls come back to haunt them, like they’re trying to do with the Republicans.

bflat879 on April 1, 2011 at 10:52 PM

Allah,

While I know why you cite polls, the economy doesn’t give a damn what voters “want” where entitlement spending is concerned.

We don’t have the money. We can’t get the money. Voters can hold their breath & turn blue and it’s not going to make a damn bit of difference – entitlement spending cannot be sustained at current levels, let alone increased. Period.

Might as well take a poll about unicorns and farting rainbows.

BD57 on April 2, 2011 at 12:34 AM

BD57 ~ You’re right, but you know it, I know it, most conservatives know it, and we just aren’t enough. AP (a/k/a Eeyore) has reminded us of what we should know only too well: the public is all for fiscal responsibility and cutting spending, but only so long as we don’t cut anything specific.

We are actually probably as close to an general public understanding of the fiscal problem as we have ever been, but only because we have tip-toed up to the very brink of the precipice, and still the necessary savings can only be achieved with great gnashing of teeth, if at all.

Rand Paul and the other unnamed Senators are quite right – it is a waste of time and political capital to provoke a crisis over a few billion in spending in the current fiscal year, already more than half over, and governed by a patchwork mess of authorizations and appropriations by the Reid-Pelosi Congress, with no formal budget to analyze.

We must realize we will only get one bite at the apple: we can shut down the government once and win, but the public will not support repeated shutdowns any more than they support repeated filibusters, it has been demonstrated any number of times on very different issues. If we have only one silver bullet to fire, we shouldn’t use it to shoot a rat when we know the werewolf is at the door.

We should make the real battle over real money, not chump change, and we can only do that with a comprehensive budget of our own (Obama really doesn’t have a clue how to budget, and will be the unarmed man in the knife fight). We can put together long-term reform of the process and entitlements, a program that might actually have a positive effect on our debt crisis, and go to the mat for it with decent chances of success. Paul Ryan has already made a great start on this.

The wailers over the $100-61-33-30-6 billion are like George Foreman facing Ali in Zaire. We have the energy and the strength, but if we squander it unwisely our crafty opponent will knock us out anyway.

It’s not that it isn’t ridiculous there is controversy over $61 billion in cuts to a ghost budget of this size, it’s that we shouldn’t punch ourselves out over minor amounts.

Adjoran on April 2, 2011 at 5:00 AM

It didn’t last long did it? I guess people (those wonderful moderates) need to be in remedial class – first up Brown “what can Brown do for you” (lose and crawl back to your hole with your tail between your legs).

Fuquay Steve on April 2, 2011 at 8:13 AM

If Rand Paul says its time to move in, I’ll buy it. But Alexander and Hatch? I’m more likely to have a knee jerk reaction in the opposite direction from anything they say … you know, a similar reaction to whatever Barbara Boxer has to say.

besser tot als rot on April 2, 2011 at 10:51 AM

I give Scott Brown some slack. (1) He’s from Massachussets, not UT or TN; and (2) He’s not a Kennedy. Those two go a long way in buying some forgiveness and understanding.

besser tot als rot on April 2, 2011 at 10:53 AM