House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy
says the last Congress did not pass a 2011 spending plan because lawmakers “were afraid,” and after the November election passed the buck to the Republican-controlled House, so the GOP would get blamed if inaction led to a government shutdown — now a distinct possibility.
McCarthy also said Wednesday on Fox News, if President Barack Obama doesn’t force Democrats to accept another proposed stopgap spending measure, which funds the military for the rest of this fiscal year, then “shame on him.”
“They were afraid they couldn't get anything through. So, they didn't pass the budget,” McCarthy told Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “But this is even worse, Sean. You know, what they did? After the November election, we still had that lame-duck session. They come back and they choose to pass a continuing resolution that only funds government to March 8th, because they believe . . . Republicans will shut [the government] down.”
McCarthy told Hannity the chronology of events after the November 2010 election shows Obama, and the Democrats, have exhibited a consistent lack of leadership.
“Well, Republicans take control of the House — they pass their HR1, which cuts discretionary spending, which has been increased by 83 percent in the last three years. No household has had that,” McCarthy said. “So, we trim that, send it to the Senate and the Senate still doesn't pass anything, and it has been 46 days — and then, the president tries to blame us.
“So, then we get to the next deadline — we extend it for two weeks, cut another four billion. The president then gets engaged and sends the vice president down to talk us to. He has one meeting and then leaves the country for two weeks,” McCarthy continued. “Then, we are at another shutdown. So, we extend it three weeks, and take another six billion out of the HR1 — and now we are at that deadline again. There's a lack of leadership.”
Hannity asked if the Democrat-controlled Senate and the president can’t even agree to cut $61 billion from the $3.6 trillion spending plan for this year, how will they deal with the 2012 budget — released by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan Tuesday — which calls for nearly $6 trillion in cuts.
“Well, remember the Ryan budget is fantastic — it is the thing we've always wanted to do — and it shows real leadership,” McCarthy said. “But when you are in a continuing resolution, you can't deal with everything else.
“Six months of the year is already gone . . . so, you can only grab [from] discretionary spending a small portion, that's why you don't see a high number,” he added. “But again, discretionary spending in the last three years under Obama and the Democratic majority has been increased by 83 percent — we should tighten our belts just like every other household, and this is a start.
“This last election was more about than just [about] changing — it was a cultural change of Washington that America was asking for. And, you know, what? America is not going to put up with someone not telling the truth,” McCarthy said. “Yes, a budget should have been passed last year — Democrats had the majority — they did not. He could blame the Republicans — but the Republicans passed HR1. We passed two extensions where we've cut. The only people that have not are the Democrat Senate.”
McCarthy said if Obama is going to let the Democrats shut down the government, and not pay the troops — which the GOP has proposed as part of another continuing resolution — then “shame on him, because we are not going to have that happen.”
“We will pass a defense budget that pays our troops and make sure if they are going to defend our freedom, they will be taken care of back home,” McCarthy said.
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