the National Debt
Averting a Government
Congress' failure to pass a FY2011 budget in 2010 led to a series
of stopgap funding measures known as continuing resolutions. On
March 18, 2011 President Obama signed the sixth continuing resolution
the government going through to April 8. The days leading up to
April 8 were filled with politically charged rhetoric (1, 2), and
negotiations over the size of spending cuts and over a number of social
policy riders continued right up to the wire as a government shutdown
looming ever closer... The agreement, when translated into
legislation, cleared the way for funding the government through
September 30. (See
RELEASE from House Speaker John Boehner/Senate
Joint Statement from Speaker Boehner & Senate Majority Leader Reid
on Bipartisan Agreement To Cut Spending, Keep Government Open
Washington (Apr 8)
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
(D-NV) tonight released the following statement:
“We have agreed to an historic amount of cuts for the remainder of this
fiscal year, as well as a short-term bridge that will give us time to
avoid a shutdown while we get that agreement through both houses and to
the President. We will cut $78.5 billion below the President’s
2011 budget proposal, and we have reached an agreement on the policy
riders. In the meantime, we will pass a short-term resolution to
keep the government running through Thursday. That short-term
bridge will cut the first $2 billion of the total savings.”
House John Boehner
Here are some key facts on the bipartisan agreement:
- THE LARGEST SPENDING CUT IN AMERICAN HISTORY. The agreement
will immediately cut $38.5 billion in federal spending – the largest
spending cut in American history in terms of dollars – just months
after President Obama asked Congress for a spending “freeze” that would
mean zero cuts.
- HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS IN SPENDING CUTS OVER THE NEXT DECADE.
The agreement will cut hundreds of billions of dollars from the federal
budget over the next decade – “real money,” as the Wall Street Journal
editorial board recently noted.
- OFFICIALLY ENDS THE “STIMULUS” SPENDING BINGE. The
agreement begins to reverse the “stimulus” spending binge that began in
2009 – signaling the official end of a period of unprecedented
government intervention that former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan
Greenspan and other economists say hurt job creation in America by
crowding out private investment.
- SETS STAGE FOR TRILLIONS MORE IN SPENDING CUTS. Clears the
way for congressional action on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul
Ryan’s budget – The Path to Prosperity – which cuts trillions in
spending and offers a long-term blueprint for American job creation.
- GUARANTEES SENATE VOTE ON REPEAL OF OBAMACARE. The
agreement reached with Senate Democrats guarantees a Senate debate and
vote on legislation that would repeal President Obama’s government
takeover of health care in its entirety. The House passed such
legislation in January as part of the Pledge to America.
- NEW TOOLS IN THE FIGHT TO REPEAL OBAMACARE. The agreement
will generate new tools for the fight to repeal Obamacare by requiring
numerous studies that will force the Obama Administration to reveal the
true impact of the law’s mandates, including a study of how individuals
and families will see increased premiums as a result of certain
Obamacare mandates; a full audit of all the waivers that the Obama
Administration has given to firms and organizations – including unions
- who can't meet the new annual coverage limits; a full audit of what's
happening with the comparative effectiveness research funding that was
in Obamacare and the president’s failed “stimulus” spending bill; and a
report on all of the contractors who have been hired to implement the
law and the costs to taxpayers of such contracts.
- DENIES ADDITIONAL FUNDING TO THE IRS. The Obama
administration has sought increased federal funding for the Internal
Revenue Service (IRS) – money that could be used to hire additional
agents to enforce the administration’s agenda on a variety of
issues. This increased funding is denied in the agreement.
- GUARANTEES SENATE VOTE & DEBATE ON DE-FUNDING PLANNED
PARENTHOOD. The agreement with Senate Democrats guarantees a
Senate debate and vote on legislation that would end federal funding
for Planned Parenthood.
- BANS TAXPAYER FUNDING OF ABORTION IN THE DISTRICT OF
COLUMBIA. The agreement includes a complete ban on local and
federal funding of abortion in the District of Columbia, applying the
pro-life principles of the Hyde Amendment (“D.C. Hyde”).
- MANDATORY AUDITS OF THE NEW JOB-CRUSHING BUREAUCRACY SET UP UNDER
DODD-FRANK. The agreement subjects the so-called Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau created by the job-destroying Dodd-Frank
law to yearly audits by both the private sector and the Government
Accountability Office (GAO) to monitor its impact on the economy,
including its impact on jobs, by examining whether sound cost-benefit
analyses are being used with rulemakings.
PRESS RELEASE from Senate
Republican Leader Mitch McConnell
April 8, 2011
McConnell Welcomes Historic Spending
“Let me thank my friend
the Majority Leader and Speaker Boehner for
their outstanding work during this difficult negotiation. You know, Mr.
President, we had an opportunity tonight to decide whether we wanted to
repeat history, or make history. Had we chosen to repeat history, we
would have allowed a government shutdown. Instead we decided to make
history by implementing in the middle of this fiscal year as the
Majority Leader has indicated substantial reductions in spending.
Now, these reductions, Mr. President, are in the billions. Once we get
through this process by the end of next week, we will move on to a much
larger discussion about how we save trillions, by enacting hopefully on
a bipartisan basis a budget that genuinely begins to get on top of this
problem. And the problem as we all know is $14 trillion in debt, and
over $53 trillion in unfunded liabilities. The President has asked us
to raise the debt ceiling. And Senate Republicans and House Republicans
and I hope many Democrats as well are going to say, Mr. President, in
order to raise the debt ceiling, we need to do something significant
about the debt. My definition of significant is that the markets view
it as significant, the American people view it as significant and
foreign countries view it as significant.
So for tonight, again, I congratulate the Majority Leader and the
Speaker. This is an important first step, but just the beginning of
what we need to do to get our house, our fiscal house, in order.
Transcript from the White House
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT ON THE BUDGET
11:04 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Behind me, through the window,
you can see the Washington Monument, visited each year by hundreds of
thousands from around the world. The people who travel here come
to learn about our history and to be inspired by the example of our
democracy -- a place where citizens of different backgrounds and
beliefs can still come together as one nation.
Tomorrow, I’m pleased to announce that the Washington Monument, as well
as the entire federal government, will be open for business. And
that's because today Americans of different beliefs came together again.
In the final hours before our government would have been forced to shut
down, leaders in both parties reached an agreement that will allow our
small businesses to get the loans they need, our families to get the
mortgages they applied for, and hundreds of thousands of Americans to
show up at work and take home their paychecks on time, including our
brave men and women in uniform.
This agreement between Democrats and Republicans, on behalf of all
Americans, is on a budget that invests in our future while making the
largest annual spending cut in our history. Like any worthwhile
compromise, both sides had to make tough decisions and give ground on
issues that were important to them. And I certainly did that.
Some of the cuts we agreed to will be painful. Programs people rely on
will be cut back. Needed infrastructure projects will be
delayed. And I would not have made these cuts in better
But beginning to live within our means is the only way to protect those
investments that will help America compete for new jobs -- investments
in our kids’ education and student loans; in clean energy and
life-saving medical research. We protected the investments we
need to win the future.
At the same time, we also made sure that at the end of the day, this
was a debate about spending cuts, not social issues like women’s health
and the protection of our air and water. These are important
issues that deserve discussion, just not during a debate about our
I want to think Speaker Boehner and Senator Reid for their leadership
and their dedication during this process. A few months ago, I was
able to sign a tax cut for American families because both parties
worked through their differences and found common ground. Now the
same cooperation will make possible the biggest annual spending cut in
history, and it’s my sincere hope that we can continue to come together
as we face the many difficult challenges that lie ahead, from creating
jobs and growing our economy to educating our children and reducing our
deficit. That's what the American people expect us to do.
That's why they sent us here.
A few days ago, I received a letter from a mother in Longmont,
Colorado. Over the year, her son’s eighth grade class saved up
money and worked on projects so that next week they could take a class
trip to Washington, D.C. They even have an appointment to lay a
wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The mother wrote that for the last few days the kids in her son’s class
had been worried and upset that they might have to cancel their trip
because of a shutdown. She asked those of us in Washington to get
past our petty grievances and make things right. And she said,
“Remember, the future of this country is not for us. It’s for our
Today we acted on behalf of our children’s future. And next week,
when 50 eighth graders from Colorado arrive in our nation’s capital, I
hope they get a chance to look up at the Washington Monument and feel
the sense of pride and possibility that defines America -- a land of
many that has always found a way to move forward as one.
RNC Chairman Priebus
Statement On The Latest Budget Agreement
WASHINGTON – Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince
Priebus released the following statement tonight:
“I would like to thank Speaker Boehner and the Republican leadership
for pushing for the largest spending cuts that make a difference but do
not negatively impact American families and U.S. service members. Yet
President Obama and Congressional Democrats still don’t get it - ending
Washington’s addiction to spending is vital for economic certainty and
creating jobs. It is truly remarkable that this President and his
allies in Congress continue to stand in the way of even the most modest
Republican spending reductions at a time when the country is borrowing
nearly 40 cents of every dollar that it spends. Today’s
achievement was the first step in what will be a long discussion on how
to get our fiscal house in order and set a course for long-term job
growth. Republicans are committed to solving our nation’s debt crisis
and challenging President Obama’s unsustainable status quo.”
April 9, 2011
No Labels Statement on Bipartisan Deal to Avert Government Shutdown
WASHINGTON, D.C. — No Labels Co-Founder
Mark McKinnon and Founding Leader David Walker issued the following
statement today regarding the bipartisan agreement on the fiscal year
2011 appropriations bill.
“On behalf of our more than 80,000 citizen leaders, No Labels applauds
President Obama and congressional leadership for working across the
aisle to reach a bipartisan solution to fund the federal government for
the remainder of the year. Despite the many weeks it took to reach
consensus, our nation’s leaders deserve credit for finally choosing
progress over politics. Avoiding a government shutdown was the right
thing to do for our economy and for the American people,” said No
Labels Co-Founder Mark McKinnon. “Since its beginning, No Labels has
been out in front on the need for ‘everyone at the table, everything on
the table’ to solve our country’s financial challenges. Tens of
thousands of our members have contacted Congress, urging them to change
the tone of these contentious debates and find a way to work together
to address this issue.”
“While last night’s milestone is a good
first step, the real test will be whether both sides can continue to
work together to find real solutions to the serious fiscal challenges
facing our nation. We look forward to working with our leaders in
Congress to support any bipartisan effort that helps us achieve this
end goal,” added David Walker, No Labels' Founding Leader and former
U.S. Comptroller General.
Log Cabin Republicans
Praise Speaker Boehner's Leadership as House Republicans Secure
Historic Spending Cuts
(Washington, DC) - Log Cabin Republicans praise Speaker John Boehner
for passage of the bipartisan agreement to cut nearly $39 billion from
the federal budget while avoiding a government shutdown.
"Speaker Boehner showed commendable leadership in crafting this
agreement, which provides for the largest spending cut in American
history and sets the stage for future success in saving not billions,
but trillions through Congressman Ryan's long-term budget proposal,"
said R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director.
"Log Cabin Republicans are particularly pleased that House Republicans
ultimately chose to prioritize spending cuts which will lead to job
creation over divisive social issue policy riders. This agreement
shows the American people that the Republicans they sent to Washington
did what they said they would do - fought to get the economy back on
track and to combat the culture of out of control spending in
Washington. However, this is only the first battle in a long campaign,
and Log Cabin Republicans call for conservatives to remain focused on
the economy to avoid losing hard-earned ground."
# # #
FRC Action Will Press Forward
Until Congress Stops Planned Parenthood's Money Grab
April 09, 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The House of
Representatives cleared a "bridge"
appropriations measure early this morning that is expected to give
negotiators time to write legislation that would fund the government
through Sept. 30, after announcing an agreement on the larger package.
The package bans taxpayer funding of abortion in the District of
Columbia but continues to provide taxpayer subsidies to abortion giant
Family Research Council Action
President Tony Perkins made the following comments:
"We are pleased that negotiators have
agreed to reinstate the
long-standing law against taxpayer funding of abortion in the District
of Columbia, but abortion giant Planned Parenthood will continue to
receive hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars in spite of its record
of abusing innocent young victims and willingly covering up the horrors
of sex trafficking.
"Contrary to assertions made by Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid
and Senate Democrats, no family planning funds were ever threatened
during this most recent budget debate. The proposed language simply
says that if you provide abortions you can't get federal monies. In
troubled economic times, taxpayers should not be subsidizing
organizations that perform abortions. The money would much better serve
recipients who do not have abortion as their central 'product.'
"We will continue to press Congress to
adopt a 2012 budget that
reflects the beliefs of most Americans who may disagree over abortion
but broadly agree that they do not want their hard earned money going
to abortion organizations.
"Our elected leaders should not be at a
loss of words when it comes
to protecting mothers and their unborn children from the horrific
practice of abortion. We urge Congressional leaders to move forward
with hearings to further expose and stop taxpayer funding of an
organization that has been complicit in statutory rape cases,
mishandled funds, and accepted donations for abortions with offensive