Yes? Then you’re probably about the only person who does. Certainly no one on Capitol Hill is paying much attention to the president’s proposals.
Congressional Democrats are largely ignoring President Obama’s $19.8 billion in budget cuts.
The president proposed axing dozens of programs that he said were inefficient or ineffective, but members of the House Appropriations Committee are including the money for them.
They are looking to cut elsewhere – and are targeting even some of Obama’s priorities.
Democrats on the panel are, for example, leaving out $60 million required to close the prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba – one of Obama’s campaign promises.
Disagreements between lawmakers and the White House amount to only a fraction of the $3.6 trillion budget’s $1 trillion in discretionary spending. Democrats say they share Obama’s larger goal of reducing spending. But they do not agree over which parts of the budget are bloated.
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.”
But in the five spending bills that have so far been reported out of the House Appropriations Committee, lawmakers have ignored at least $655 million of the president’s proposed cuts.
Oh, well. It really doesn’t matter. After all, with the president planning some $10 trillion in increased deficits over the coming decade, what’s a measly $20 billion in “cuts”?