According to The Hill yesterday, Congressional Democrats are pretty much ignoring the request by President Obama for $19.8 billion in budget cuts. The House Appropriations Committee has included money in the budget for the programs the President suggested cutting. The have said they are planning to cut spending–just not in the places the President recommended. Actually, they are planning to cut some of the President’s projects.
“Spending bills marked up by the House have found funds for prisons for illegal immigrants, grants for public telecom facilities, and homeland security programs sending money back to local officials — all of which had been chopped by the White House.
Obama had called for $19.8 billion of cuts in discretionary spending next year, saying the reductions are “setting the right priorities with our spending.””
One of the spending cuts requested by the President was a $400 million reduction in federal spending for state prisons to incarcerate illegal immigrants. President Obama stated that the money would be better spent on an overhaul of immigration. Representatives from states with large illegal immigrant populations reinstated that money claiming that to cut it would create a problem for states which are already struggling financially.
Republicans have a different take on the cuts:
“Republican lawmakers are dismissing the Democrats’ and the president’s attempts to find cuts, saying they amount to small change. Even with the cuts, the proposed spending bills will increase discretionary spending by 12 percent over last year, according to an analysis by GOP appropriators.
“In no way does this represent a return to fiscal responsibility,” said Jennifer Hing, spokeswoman for Republicans on the Appropriations panel. “No matter what they say about eliminating programs, the truth is that this Congress is engaging in unprecedented rampant spending which is dangerously unsustainable.””
A budget increase of 12 percent in one year is excessive. At some point the American taxpayer will be expected to pay for this increase. We need to find leaders who will cut the federal budget instead of continually expanding it.