Rand Paul, Other Conservative Lawmakers Decry ‘Shameful’ Budget Deal
December 11, 2013 by Sam Rolley
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and a handful of other conservative lawmakers have expressed disappointment in the bipartisan proposal that Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) released Tuesday.
Paul contends that the latest two-year budget agreement is no different than many other Federal budgets which made promises for cuts that were never realized.
The Ryan-Murray proposal would reduce the Federal deficit by $23 billion over ten years without raising taxes; but it restores sequester cuts that are saving the government money right now. The budget deal would require Congress to set aside $1.012 trillion in discretionary spending for defense and other agencies in fiscal year 2014, $1.014 trillion for fiscal year 2015 and would restore $63 billion in sequester cuts.
“The small sequester spending cuts were not nearly enough to address our deficit problem,” Paul said in a statement. “Undoing tens of billions of this modest spending restraint is shameful and must be opposed. I cannot support a budget that raises taxes and never balances, nor can I support a deal that does nothing to reduce our nation’s $17.3 trillion debt.”
The Senator likened supporters of the budget to the always hungry and perpetually broke J. Wellington Wimpy from the Popeye cartoons.
“There is a recurring theme in Washington budget negotiations. It’s ‘I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today,’” the lawmaker said. “I think it’s a huge mistake to trade sequester cuts now for the promise of cuts later.”
Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) has also criticized the budget agreement.
“It doesn’t appear to be something I will likely support,” Crapo told POLITICO. “It’s pretty light on entitlement reform and the entitlement reform that’s done is not structural. It doesn’t do anything to actually change or fix that. We’re looking now to see if it can pass the Congress.”
Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) also said he could not support the proposal during an interview on MSNBC Wednesday.
“I’m real disappointed in the deal,” Coburn said. “I’m sure it’s the best Paul could get, but it’s not anything I can support.”
The lawmaker, who has a penchant for ferreting out wasteful government spending, added, “You’ve taken two very well meaning individuals and hammered out an agreement to get past a political event… There is so much waste, so much duplication, so much incompetency in the Federal government, and nobody wants to do the hard work of fixing it.”