March Budget Madness: Republicans Refuse Compromise and Bench Job Creation

For Immediate Release:

March 8, 2011

In Washington, the Republicans who designed the cuts for this fiscal year seemed to have done no serious policy evaluation…. Instead, legislators and administrators are simply cutting on the basis of what’s politically easy and what vaguely seems expendable.” -David Brooks [NY Times, 3/1/11]

While Democrats have put forward a compromise measure cutting $51 billion of the $100 billion in cuts proposed by Republicans, House Republicans seem to have taken “March Madness” to heart and have so far refused to offer anything other than their irresponsible “So Be It” Spending Bill. Rather than move toward a compromise with Democrats, Republicans have not moved an inch from their arbitrary spending proposal that cuts investments in our future, harming economic growth and costing at least 200,000 jobs according to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and up to 700,000 jobs according to Moody Analytics’ Mark Zandi.

DEMOCRATS HAVE MOVED TO HALF COURT

Democrats agree that we must reduce spending but it’s time to cut and compromise. Democrats have shown their willingness to do so by moving to meet Republicans halfway:

Cuts in the Continuing Resolution passed in December:               $41 billion
Cuts in the short-term CR sent to the President last week:          $4 billion
Additional cuts proposed by Senate Democrats:                 +     $6.5 billion
                                                                                       $51.5 billion

REPUBLICANS HAVEN’T CHANGED THEIR GAME PLAN—EVEN THOUGH IT’S CLEARLY NOT WORKING

It is Republicans’ turn to step up and put forward a compromise measure for the entire fiscal year—one that abandons extreme cuts in their Spending Bill and protects investments that allow our nation to out-educate, out-innovate and out-build our competitors. But if their words are any indication, they have shown little willingness to budge from their position:

Rep. Scott DesJarlais: "The $100 billion, for now, I don't see any room for compromise on that unless we're willing to go beyond that.” [The Hill, 03/03/11]

Rep. Paul Gosar: “The cuts were merely a ‘token’ in the fight against a $1.5 trillion deficit, Gosar told a group of college Republicans from Northern Arizona University. ‘You can't cut enough…’” [Arizona Daily Sun, 03/06/11]

Rep. Marsha Blackburn: “Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, said she wants ‘the full total of what was passed by House’ in a long-term bill to fund the government.” [CNN, 03/04/11]

It’s time for Republicans to get off the sidelines and work with Democrats to cut and compromise so that we can reduce spending while making important investments that grow the economy and create jobs.

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