President Barack Obama’s budget proposal is "unbelievable" and will make the nation’s financial situation worse, Sen. Pat Toomey tells Newsmax.TV.
The president's budget is at best nothing more than a campaign document designed to boost his re-election chances, the Pennsylvania Republican said.
During an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, Toomey spoke at length about Obama’s $3.8 trillion budget for 2013, which was met with scorn from the GOP that controls the House and praise from the Democrats that control the Senate.
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With both the presidential race and congressional elections looming and the partisan divide, it is uncertain whether a deal can be reached, and it may fall to a lame-duck Congress to decide whether the Bush tax cuts will expire in January.
“Campaign document at best,” Toomey said of the president’s proposal.
“Unfortunately, this dysfunctional Senate, controlled by the Democrats and Sen. [Harry] Reid, has made it clear they will not do a budget. It’s just unbelievable to me, but this is the third year in a row now that they feel no obligation to provide Americans with a blueprint for how they intend to deal with this fiscal disaster we have.
“The president’s proposed a budget that would make it worse, literally. Huge tax increases. He takes all that money and spends it, and then some. So the huge spending increase, despite the tax increases, result in an even bigger deficit next year than the one we had this year. So the president makes the deficit worse, grows spending, raise taxes, and, in the process, we do a lot of damage to the economy. It’s really unbelievable how counterproductive this budget would be.”
Regardless, Toomey said that some of the Democrats on the Budget Committee have expressed a desire to reach an agreement on the budget.
“They have the decency to be embarrassed by their own party by the fact that the party is so clearly shirking its responsibility,” he said. “There is some possibility that we’ll do a budget in this Budget Committee, but Sen. Reid controls the Senate floor and he has stated unequivocally that they’re not going to do a budget on the Senate floor. It’s just amazing to me that they can actually ask the American people to be in control when they refuse to do even the minimum type of obligations of a governing party.”
One issue closely tied to the budget is the congressional use of earmarks, a tactic with which an individual member of Congress can direct funds to be spent on specific projects. Toomey has called for a permanent ban on such measures but has failed to get Congress to agree.
“I absolutely intend to keep fighting this,” he said. “Earmarks are a very pernicious way that government wastes taxpayer dollars, uses taxpayer money to try to bribe people to vote for politicians. There’s no transparency. There’s no honesty. There’s no competitive bidding.”
Toomey noted that a recent series of front-page articles in The Washington Post highlighted some “really questionable cases where it appears some members of Congress may have been using earmarks to enrich themselves.”
“This just takes the egregious abuse to a whole new level,” he said. “I certainly hope that we’ll be able to get a pass and I’m not going to give up trying.”
On other issues, Toomey said:
- The Keystone XL pipeline eventually will be approved despite President Barack Obama’s opposition. “We’ve got to continue to push this and, at some point, the administration, probably, will capitulate.”
- A small number of the 40 jobs bills sent to the Senate by the GOP-controlled House may go to a vote, including one that would ease some of the regulations on issuing financial securities for small and medium-sized companies.
- If Republicans take control of the Senate, some of the first issues would be to make the current tax rates permanent, the repeal of Obamacare and Dodd-Frank, and the reining in of the NLRB and the EPA.
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