Economy, News, Op-Eds, Republicans

GOP Abandons Budget Plan, Realizes ‘Fiscal Hawk’ Ryan Is Full Of Crap

The GOP budget plan that was voted on by the House a few months ago has come to an abrupt, screeching halt as lawmakers are forced to recognize that it simply will not work. The Ryan budget was passed in the House along party lines last March — and almost didn’t pass at all, as 10 Republican representatives voted with the 197 Democrats against it, making the final vote tally 221-207. Hal Rogers, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, even went so far as to state, “I believe that the House has made its choice: sequestration – and its unrealistic and ill-conceived discretionary cuts – must be brought to an end.”

The House Appropriations Committee, which is in charge of determining the specific expenditures of money by the federal government, is one of the most powerful and influential groups in Washington. That Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) is echoing the Democratic talking point of ending the sequester, and unrealistic cuts to spending, is definitely noteworthy — and his statement that, “sequestration – and its unrealistic and ill-conceived discretionary cuts – must be brought to an end,” is a Democratic talking point.

Since the sequester took hold in March, Democrats have been ceaselessly pointing out how damaging the sequester will be to our economy, government, and by extension of both, people. In May, Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee published their third report on the adverse effects that will be felt by Americans, essentially making the point that it is better to pay for maintenance than repairs:

“A few departments and agencies have found ways to mitigate some very specific impacts of sequestration,” the authors wrote. “However, these strategies merely replace one set of cuts with cuts to other parts of the same agency. All will have an impact, and nearly all will have to be made up with future appropriations.”

“Piecemeal efforts to manage sequestration are counterproductive,” the report concluded. “They often require underfunding long-term needs to mitigate short-term pain. In many instances, the annual savings mask increased longer-term costs.”

To illustrate this point, the Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee looked at the efforts made by Congress to end the furloughing of air traffic controllers shortly after complaints surfaced over flight delays. While the Federal Aviation Administration was granted flexibility to end those furloughs, it came “at the expense of another priority,” the report said. In this case, the FAA can no longer fund construction projects with discretionary funds. Officials estimated the costs of congestion and delays at airports will exceed $34 billion by 2020. (Huffington Post)

They go on to report more specific areas that Democrats have pointed out will be negatively hit by sequestration:

  • Research projects will feel the budget cuts, with the National Institutes of Health estimating that it will support 1,357 fewer grants in fiscal 2013 than in fiscal 2012.
  • The Department of Energy will face challenges “remediating the contamination from the nation’s nuclear weapons development effort” because of a $430 million cut.
  • Rural rental assistance for those in need will be hit, with an estimated 15,000 aid recipients expected to get less while an estimated 70,000 children “will lose access to Head Start and Early Head Start.”
  • The Forest Service will enter the 2013 firefighting season with 500 fewer firefighters.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will place fewer vaccines, drugs and supplies into the national stockpile used for “countermeasures needed to respond to bioterrorist attacks.”

And now, even the GOP is waking up. The Paul Ryan budget plan has fallen apart, after House Republicans realized they would not be able to get even close to the requisite number of votes. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) has said that the bill will be appropriated following the August recess, but other Republicans, including the House Appropriations Chairman, Hal Rogers, have indicated that is extremely unlikely.

Brett LoGiurato of Business Insider states that, “But the problem with Ryan’s budget is that it works in abstractions, and is never binding. And Republicans learned that, for the sake of saving face while going back to their districts, the heavy cuts projected in the Ryan budget just weren’t workable.” He goes on to report, “Republicans passed the unspecific outlines of the Ryan budget earlier this year, because they look good in abstraction. But when it comes to specifics, the knife cuts too deep. Meanwhile, the Senate will move Thursday to the next step in its version of the THUD bill.”

Politically, this could be very good news for the Democratic Party, allowing Democratic votes to largely control the future of the federal budget:

All of this is a harbinger for the coming fight over funding the government. If House Republicans can’t establish a position of their own, then the Senate will drive the whole process (its Transportation/HUD bill will probably pass on a bipartisan basis this week) and appropriations will be extended past September one way or another on the strength of Democratic votes.

It also suggests that the GOP’s preference for permanent sequestration-level spending, particularly relative to increasing taxes, is not politically viable. If they want to lift the defense cuts, they’re going to have to either return to budget negotiations with Democrats, or agree to rescind sequestration altogether. (Talking Points Memo)

Perhaps, as TPM states, the “GOP’s long-awaited comeuppance has arrived.”

Reposted from Occupy Democrats with permission.

About Justin Acuff

Justin Acuff is a political activist, writer and admitted news junkie. He has written hundreds of articles that have been read millions of times. Justin is a Senior Editor for Addicting Info, the owner and managing editor of Young Progressive Voices, and contributes to other publications as well. The best part? He isn't even 21 yet. Follow his Facebook fan page to get access to his latest articles, find his website here, or follow him on Twitter.

Discussion

6 thoughts on “GOP Abandons Budget Plan, Realizes ‘Fiscal Hawk’ Ryan Is Full Of Crap

  1. One line of right wing reasoning is that Team Romney chose Ryan as his 2012 running mate due to his supposed expertise on budgetary matters and for having embraced the philosophy of cutting federal spending to make government smaller. That entire persona is an illusion.

    Examine the voting record of Paul Ryan — the whole record, not just after Obama became POTUS in 2009 — and a familiar pattern will emerge.

    Ryan and his fellow Congressional Republicans are not against federal spending — whether it be useful or unnecessary, budgeted or not — per se. They simply cannot stomach funding for projects and programs which conflict with their political agendas and ideology. And on this fundamental aspect of their political ideology, few have been willing to compromise.

    Furthermore, for a self-proclaimed budgetary guru, Ryan sure doesn’t seem to have a command of the subject. During numerous interviews, he dodged the flaws in his federal budget proposals by asserting that he could not really discuss the specifics of a fiscally conservative budget plan because “he hadn’t yet crunched the numbers”.

    Reality check — virtually every nonpartisan economist has confirmed that Ryan’s budget plan contained impossible to attain, mutually-exclusive goals — increasing defense spending, cutting taxes on corporations and upper class Americans, and simultaneously reducing the federal deficit. The “new and improved” House Repubican proposals are essentially the Ryan plan on steroids … requiring even more mathematical hand-waving.

    On the whole, it would seem that Paul Ryan is less of a budgetary genius and more of a poseur, feigning accounting acumen to further his own political ambitions.

    Posted by labman57 | August 3, 2013, 9:48 pm
  2. I dislike suits!

    Posted by EboTebo | August 4, 2013, 2:44 am
  3. Poseur is being kind, Ryan is an idiot ! Ryan thought all he had to do is, spend money advancing the GOP agenda, while reducing all other programs to the ‘people’. Problem being, most all of the federal gov. is set up expressly for the people, not for servitude of the republicans or their personal wish list. As it turns out, there is plenty to condemn in the GOP’s approach towards running political offices beyond being constantly in need for cash for their next campaign. After the GOP’s recent shift towards closing the fed. gov. down, because they brought the wrong tie to a ‘black tie’ dinner, speaks volumes on who, or what, they believe in. Stasis alert:, I don’t, or can’t, remember the last time when the GOP is/was ever right in devising a budget. Even Reagan had *Sen. Bill Bradley’s easily adoptable budget available to him.

    *–Congressional Sen. Bill Bradley(D) N.Y.

    Posted by edward | August 4, 2013, 11:28 pm

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  1. Pingback: GOP Abandons Budget Plan, Realizes ‘Fiscal Hawk’ Ryan Is Full Of Crap | Young Progressive Voices « The Tribune of the People - August 3, 2013

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