Maybe it’s time to give California to the Mexicans along with Pelosi and all are other free-spending ilk. Obama has proposed a multi trillion dollar budget for next year with tons of spending programs in it which are simply nothing more than handouts to states.
Just like a broken record, the Democrats who have never seen a spending program they didn’t like, with the exception of defense spending, are all up in arms over the proposed cuts being put forth by Republicans. Just how do you dig yourself out of a hole if you don’t propose broad cuts? You wonder why America is going broke, if we aren’t there already? It’s politicians like these Democrats who need to be voted out of office. All they want to spend spend spend, and then tax tax tax the producers to try to pay for their spending.
Bay Area Democrats who directed billions of stimulus dollars to California before their powers were dashed in November’s election lashed out Thursday at spending cuts being proposed by House Republicans across an array of domestic programs.
The San Francisco Presidio Trust, in particular, is near and dear to former House Speaker, and now minority leader, Nancy Pelosi. Two GOP newcomers, Reps. Tom Reed of New York and Tom Graves of Georgia, pushed through an amendment to a spending bill that zeroed out $15 million for the trust, which Pelosi established to maintain the former military base that is a national park in the heart of her city.
By design, the trust has been increasingly self-funding, with declining federal help each year since it was established in 1996. The trust is just shy of its goal of being entirely self-funded by 2013.
Pelosi vowed to block the proposed cut with the help of California’s two Democratic senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, saying the transformation of a military post into an urban national park “created a model for the nation,” and that cutting funds for the trust would end up costing the government more than it saves.
Ten Republicans voted with her, but the amendment passed 239-186.
California Democrats ripped their Republican colleagues for failing to protect the state from wide-ranging cuts, as Washington moved closer to a potential government shutdown March 4 if the $1.2 trillion spending bill fails to pass.
The bill, HR1, calls for about $60 billon in cuts from last year’s level, mostly to domestic programs, and would fund the government for the rest of this year. Senate Democrats oppose the bill, and President Obama has threatened a veto, so it is unlikely to be enacted as written.
But the large Tea Party-backed contingent of House Republicans has pressed for deeper cuts than GOP leaders initially anticipated and is unlikely to back down easily. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, raised the stakes when he said the House would not approve any temporary extension of current spending.
That means the Senate and Obama would have to agree to some cuts or face a government shutdown.
“When we say we’re going to cut spending, read my lips: We’re going to cut spending,” Boehner said.
Democrats said the bill would gut programs ranging from local health care clinics to university research and marine sanctuaries. Even customs and border enforcement would be slashed by 44 percent, said Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, and chairwoman of the California Democratic delegation, accused Republicans from Southern California – Reps. Kevin McCarthy, David Dreier, Jerry Lewis and Darrell Issa specifically – of “countenancing very destructive actions against our own state.”
Lofgren said California gets 20 percent or more of all science funding, which would be slashed by double digits. Rep. Lois Capps, a Santa Barbara Democrat, said Republicans seem to “have a vendetta against reproductive health,” citing cuts in funding for Planned Parenthood.
Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove (Sacramento County), said the cuts would “decimate” California’s plans for high-speed rail unless the state succeeds in securing the $2.4 billion in federal funds that Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott rejected Wednesday.
GOP returns fire
Republicans shot back, saying many of the programs have ballooned since Obama took office.
“In almost every single element of the federal budget, the discretionary funds have been increased 25 and 30 percent in just the last two years,” said Jim Specht, deputy chief of staff for Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands (San Bernardino County), a veteran of the Appropriations Committee.
“Because of that, President Obama is saying this year we are faced with a budget deficit of $1.6 trillion. What California Republicans are saying is we have reached the point where we cannot afford all these dramatically increased expenditures, and it’s time to roll them back to at least try to get a handle on this deficit.”
The $60 billion in cuts amount to 4 percent of this year’s deficit. In two years, Specht said, the government will spend more in interest than on every domestic program.
“That’s a lot of money to be spending, not for high-speed rail, not for education, not for all these other programs that are being defended by the Democrats,” Specht said.
GOP leaders struggled to wrap up three days of debate with hundreds of amendments. Boehner allowed a free-wheeling debate rather than the closed, party-line votes used by Pelosi and first instituted by former Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich.
But Lofgren said the amendment rules blocked Democrats from transferring cuts in defense to restore funds to domestic programs.
Garamendi said he learned from his stint in the California Assembly: “Don’t amend a turkey.”
“Let its flaws be seen,” he said. “Don’t try to make something really bad a little less worse. Let it be out there in all its ugliness so the public will focus on it and say, ‘Are they really going to do that?’ ”