Republican Rep. Raul Labrador has attacked Harry Reid’s latest budget plan as “ridiculous,” after the Senate majority leader proposed forestalling automatic spending cuts with money saved from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I don’t understand the fascination right now with Democrats and the sequester — and some Republicans for that matter,” the Idaho congressman said at a Wednesday lunch briefing with conservative lawmakers.
“It’s the first time we’ve saved money in Washington, D.C.,” Labrador said.
Reid proposed taking money previously budgeted for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to replace $85 billion in government-wide spending cuts over the next five months that took effect March 1.
Republicans say the move is nothing more than a gimmick and it comes after the Obama administration has been trying to highlight ill effects coming from the budget sequester, such as canceling White House tours to save money.
The most recent attempt to demonstrate the pain caused by sequestration came this week as the Federal Aviation Administration began furloughing 47,000 agency employees through September, including nearly 15,000 air-traffic controllers.
Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio said that government agencies should have been better prepared for the 2.3 percent across-the-board spending cuts, as they had 20 months of warning after an August 2011 budget deal.
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