House Republicans Back Pre-Obama Spending Levels The House of Representatives voted Tuesday to roll back federal spending to 2008 levels, a symbolic vote on the eve of the president's State of the Union speech.
NPR logo

House Republicans Back Pre-Obama Spending Levels

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/133218497/133218643" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
House Republicans Back Pre-Obama Spending Levels

House Republicans Back Pre-Obama Spending Levels

House Republicans Back Pre-Obama Spending Levels

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/133218497/133218643" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The House of Representatives voted Tuesday to roll back federal spending to 2008 levels, a symbolic vote on the eve of the president's State of the Union speech.

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Michele Norris.

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

Here's Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

ERIC CANTOR: If you think the government didn't spend enough money in 2008, then oppose this resolution. Go on record for more spending, more borrowing and more debt.

BLOCK: NPR's Audie Cornish reports from Capitol Hill.

AUDIE CORNISH: Now, this was non-binding, so the resolution itself doesn't cut anything. It just promises that Republican Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan will limit the amount of money Congress allocates this year to government agencies and programs. It doesn't apply to spending on Defense, Security or Veterans.

DAVID DREIER: It is literally a one-sentence measure, a one-sentence measure, which says that our goal is to get to 2008 levels of spending or less.

JAMES MCGOVERN: I thank the gentleman...

DRIER: And I thank my friend for his...

MCGOVERN: Unidentified Woman: Gentlemen, (unintelligible).

MCGOVERN: I appreciate the brevity of the bill, but that doesn't mean the bill doesn't have a very negative impact.

CORNISH: McGovern needled Republicans about why the resolution doesn't say precisely how much will be cut and from which programs. And it doesn't guarantee the GOP campaign pledge to cut $100 billion this fiscal year.

MCGOVERN: I suspect, Madam Speaker, that's because Republican majority is discovering that it's a lot harder to walk the walk than it is to talk the talk. They're realizing that when you start trying to make those kinds of cuts, you start seriously affecting the American economy and the American people.

CORNISH: Democratic Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said handing the job to the GOP budget chairman isn't the answer.

STENY HOYER: It simply gives to one person the ability to set that number. It's not only unprecedented, it, in my opinion, is undemocratic with a small D.

PAUL RYAN: I'm enjoying sort of the hyperbolic rhetoric we're hearing here today about one person, one committee, one man dictating and all these things.

CORNISH: That's Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan.

RYAN: This is a first step in a long process. This is a minimal, small down payment on a necessary process to go forward so that we can leave our kids with a better generation, so we can get this debt under control, so the spending spigot can close.

CORNISH: Audie Cornish, NPR News, the Capitol.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.