Friday, April 9, 2010

Coburn threatens to block all spending bills in Senate that aren't 'paid for'

The Democrats, including Obama in his State of the Union address, have bragged about their "pay as you go" policy. It seems they consider all bills, emergency bills, thus circumventing the requirement. The only reason the jobless benefits bill is an emergency is that the Democrats didn't get around to it in time to find offsets (as if they would look for any). This has to start somewhere and a $9 billion bill is a good place to start. Congress should get to work and find the offsets (hint: look in the stimulus boondoggle) and get this needed money to the unemployed. Then get to work and do some tax cutting (with offsets, again look at the stimulus boondoggle) to spur the job market.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) on Tuesday vowed to block all future spending bills in the Senate that aren’t fully “paid for” with cuts to other spending programs.

Coburn and other Republicans are already blocking a $9 billion bill to extend jobless benefits for 30 days that isn’t offset with other spending cuts. That impasse halted benefits to 200,000 unemployed people this week.

“The fact is that the country wants us to start making hard choices on spending, and if we can’t do it on a $9 billion bill, then we’re certainly not going to be able to do it on our $1.6 trillion deficit,” he said.

“The problems are so severe in our country, our debt is so severe and the impact is so great in the near and long term that it’s time for some of us to take a stand. We may lose. But we’re not going to give up on doing the tough things that Washington needs to do, and if that earns us consternation, so be it.”

Coburn cast doubt on any political backlash against the GOP over the issue, noting that when an unemployment extension is passed, it will include retroactive benefits for those who apply.

He argued voters will support the GOP given concerns about the deficit.

“The easiest thing in the world is to pass this bill unpaid for, but consider the millions of Americans whose financial futures would be damaged, versus the relatively small amount of people who will be affected by this delay. Now you tell me which vote takes the most courage.”

Read article here.

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