Tags: Boehner | Suggests | Budget | gop | republicans

Boehner Suggests 'Cut-As-You-Go' Budget

Thursday, 30 Sep 2010 02:35 PM

The top Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday said lawmakers should be forced to make cuts in federal spending if they want to add new programs.

Taking a swipe at his own Republicans, who hope to regain control of the chamber in the November elections, as well as the majority Democrats, John Boehner said the House has earned a reputation for "fiscal recklessness."

Boehner, House minority leader since 2007, said reforms are needed to House rules that now make it easy for lawmakers to increase spending and nearly impossible for them to cut, leading to record federal deficits.

"We should ... consider developing a 'cut-as-you-go rule,"' Boehner said in a speech prepared for delivery at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.

"Under this 'CutGo' rule, if it is your intention to create a new government program, you must also terminate or reduce spending on an existing government program of equal or greater size — in the very same bill," Boehner said.

Before Boehner even began his well-publicized address, Democrats responded by suggesting that he was a hypocrite for preaching reform.

Democrats complained that he opposed their reforms in recent years on matters from federal spending to campaign financing to tightening oversight of congressional ethics.

A press release by the office of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi carried the headline: "House Republican Leader Boehner to give speech on reform despite leading GOP effort against it."

The release noted that during the 12 years that Republicans held Congress before Democrats won control in the 2006 elections, the U.S. debt nearly doubled and that the number of "pet projects" in federal spending bills quadrupled.

Public approval of Congress — the House and Senate — has been on the decline for years regardless which party was in the majority.

With Democrats controlling both the House and Senate for the past four years, approval of Congress now stands at about 20 percent, polls show.

This disapproval, largely because of the weak U.S. economy, is a major reason why polls show Republicans may win the House and perhaps the Senate in November.

Boehner, in line to become House Speaker if Republicans capture the chamber, said lawmakers must do better.

"The mission of the United States Congress is to serve the American people — and today, due in part to institutional barriers that have been in place for decades, that mission goes unfulfilled," Boehner said.

"These wounds have been self-inflicted by both parties, and if we do not fix them, it's possible no one will," he said.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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The top Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday said lawmakers should be forced to make cuts in federal spending if they want to add new programs. Taking a swipe at his own Republicans, who hope to regain control of the chamber in the November...
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