Rep. Mike Pence says the House should not budge from provisions in its bill cutting $61 billion from this year’s fiscal expenditures, as it is just a pittance when compared to overall government spending. The Indiana Republican’s comments came during a Fox News interview Thursday, as tea party activists convened a rally in Washington, D.C., where a central theme was “Cut it — or shut it.”
“We’ve got a $1.65 trillion deficit, Neal — $61 billion in budget cuts is just a modest down payment on fiscal discipline,” Pence told Fox News’ Neal Cavuto. “We also defunded Obamacare, defunded Planned Parenthood — with a bipartisan vote.
“Republicans need to pick a fight with the liberals in the Senate, take a firm stand, and say this far — and no farther,” said Pence, one of the speakers at the tea party rally.
Cavuto noted some in the GOP leadership are saying that the argument over this year’s spending is almost moot, it’s time to finish up old business, not get obsessed with 2011, and move on to discussing the 2012 budget.
“Well, look, you never get a second chance at a first impression,” Pence countered. “And as I said at the rally today, Neal, this is just a small down payment on fiscal discipline, but it is going to be a promise kept.
“Republicans said we would reduce spending in this fiscal year, to below pre-bailout, pre-stimulus levels,” he continued. “It’s going to take $61 billion in cuts to do that. We passed it out of the House of Representatives and sent it to the Senate.
“And I think this is an important moment — I think this may be a defining moment — for this new Republican majority,” Pence said. “To demonstrate to the American people that we got the message, that we’re willing to take the stands to change the fiscal destiny of America.”
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