The workout of the federal government budget debate came late Friday, so the morning paper lacks many of the specific details of the compromise.
Amid the flood of news releases, I note U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin of Little Rock offers one of the most detailed accounts. Its predictably partisan, hyperbolic and misleading in description of the elements, but the elements are there. I give it all to you on the jump for perusal and comment.
One observation: The Republicans pulled back from shutting down government over health care services for women (and also men with sexuallly transmitted diseases). But they did end federal funding of abortion in the District of Columbia AND made it illegal for local government money to be spent on abortion. I think this gives you a pretty good indicator, again, of how much Republicans respect federalism. They respect state control as long as the state's govern in a way deemed acceptable to Republicans in Congress. If not, the big boot of big government will crunch your effort at self-determination. The Republicans in Congress also will put private concerns, such as insurance companies, out of business unless they submit.
A key element of this deal, requiring Senate votes on some hot-button issues such as continued money for Planned Parenthood and others health services (no abortion is financed), will be discomforting to some members of the upper chamber. Thinking Sen. Mark Pryor here. No discomfort for the Booze Man. He votes against women every time.
Make no mistake, social conservatives are riding high in Congress again.
Anyway, read on:
TIM GRIFFIN NEWS RELEASE
WASHINGTON — Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) released the following statement after tonight’s announcement that a deal for FY 2011 funding had been reached:
“Last year, Washington was talking about how much to spend. Now, Washington is talking about how much to cut. That cultural shift alone is a major victory. President Obama, Sen. Reid and their allies in the Senate fought us at every turn, but this deal cuts billions from what the President wanted to spend, fully funds the military through the end of the year, and averts the economic disruption, uncertainty and expense that would have resulted from a shutdown,” Griffin said
“Obviously, I wanted deeper spending cuts, but I understand that House Republicans control one-half of one-third of the federal government. As Ronald Reagan once said, ‘if I can get 70 or 80 percent of what I’m trying to get, I’ll take that and then continue to try to get the rest in the future.’ Soon, we will begin work on next year’s budget and that will give us the opportunity to make even greater, more significant reforms as we deal with trillions in spending cuts, not billions,” Griffin said.
SUMMARY: BIPARTISAN AGREEMENT ON SPENDING CUTS TO SUPPORT AMERICAN JOB CREATION
• THE LARGEST SPENDING CUT IN AMERICAN HISTORY. The agreement will immediately cut $38.5 billion in federal spending — the largest spending cut in American history in terms of dollars — just months after President Obama asked Congress for a spending “freeze” that would mean zero cuts.
• HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS IN SPENDING CUTS OVER THE NEXT DECADE. The agreement will cut hundreds of billions of dollars from the federal budget “baseline” over the next decade — “real money,” as the Wall Street Journal editorial board recently noted.
• OFFICIALLY ENDS THE “STIMULUS” SPENDING BINGE. The agreement begins to reverse the “stimulus” spending binge that began in 2009 — signaling the official end of a period of unprecedented government intervention that former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan and other economists say hurt job creation in America by crowding out private investment.
• SETS STAGE FOR TRILLIONS MORE IN SPENDING CUTS. Clears the way for congressional action on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget — The Path to Prosperity — which cuts trillions in spending and offers a long-term blueprint for American job creation.
• GUARANTEES SENATE VOTE ON REPEAL OF OBAMACARE. The agreement reached with Senate Democrats guarantees a Senate debate and vote on legislation that would repeal President Obama’s government takeover of health care in its entirety. The House passed such legislation in January as part of the Pledge to America.
• NEW TOOLS IN THE FIGHT TO REPEAL OBAMACARE. The agreement will generate new tools for the fight to repeal Obamacare by requiring numerous studies that will force the Obama Administration to reveal the true impact of the law’s mandates, including a study of how individuals and families will see increased premiums as a result of certain Obamacare mandates; a full audit of all the waivers that the Obama Administration has given to firms and organizations — including unions - who can't meet the new annual coverage limits; a full audit of what's happening with the comparative effectiveness research funding that was in Obamacare and the president’s failed “stimulus” spending bill; and a report on all of the contractors who have been hired to implement the law and the costs to taxpayers of such contracts.
• DENIES ADDITIONAL FUNDING TO THE IRS. The Obama administration has sought increased federal funding for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) — money that could be used to hire additional agents to enforce the administration’s agenda on a variety of issues. This increased funding is denied in the agreement.
• GUARANTEES SENATE VOTE & DEBATE ON DE-FUNDING PLANNED PARENTHOOD. The agreement with Senate Democrats guarantees a Senate debate and vote on legislation that would end federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
• BANS TAXPAYER FUNDING OF ABORTION IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. The agreement includes a complete ban on local and federal funding of abortion in the District of Columbia, applying the pro-life principles of the Hyde Amendment (“D.C. Hyde”).
• MANDATORY AUDITS OF THE NEW JOB-CRUSHING BUREAUCRACY SET UP UNDER DODD-FRANK. The agreement subjects the so-called Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created by the job-destroying Dodd-Frank law to yearly audits by both the private sector and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to monitor its impact on the economy, including its impact on jobs, by examining whether sound cost-benefit analyses are being used with rulemakings.