South Dakota GOP Rep. Kristi Noem says another short-term continuing resolution (CR), readied late Monday to avoid a government shutdown threatened for Friday, was necessary to continue funding the Defense Department at a critical time. The measure, which would finance the government for one week, includes $12 billion in domestic spending cuts, and will be brought to the House floor, if a compromise on the 2011 budget is not reached in the next few days.
“What we’re trying to do is put some safeguards in, in case the Senate never does act,” Noem told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren Monday. “You know it’s been 44 days since we have sent them a solution on funding our government, to make sure we make it through fiscal year 2011, and they haven’t. So what you see in this CR is some funding for our military, for our Department of Defense, funding our priorities, and still cutting spending.”
Van Susteren, noting this would be the seventh CR passed to keep the government running, asked where the breakdown was in the 2011 budgetary process, and whether discussions planned for Tuesday in the White House between President Barack Obama and congressional leaders might be fruitful.
“Well the breakdown is in the Senate, obviously, and with the president — the fact that he hasn't led,” Noem said. “So you know, the thing that's hard for the House to swallow, and hard for our conference to swallow, is the fact that we sent them HR1 that was obviously our solution.
“They did not accept that, so we did two more CRs that still had spending cuts in it. This one is guaranteeing that we make sure that we take care of our military,” she added. “I think a lot of people talk about it, and you hear it when we go home on the weekends, about shutting down the government. Well, I’ll tell you that the House Republican conference does not want to do that . . . we have men and women who are at war.
“When we do that, they do not get funded. They don't get paid. And they've got families at home depending on those paychecks,” Noem continued. “We want to make sure that we send that Department of Defense bill over there, take them off the table to make sure we protect them, that they do get paid, and that the Senate, hopefully, will start making some better decisions.”
Noem said she hoped the decision to offer yet another short-term spending bill shows the president House Republicans are serious about finding a solution.
“He needs to come on board and really do what the American people need him to do. That's what we're hoping — he hasn't done it yet,” she said. “And I hope people understand that if we don't come to a solution at the end of this week, that rests solely in his lap, and in the Senate Democrats' laps, because they haven't been offering the solutions.”
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