Amid Budget Standoff, GOP Freshman Faces Home District
R: Unidentified Woman: Okay. Yeah, if he can do that here, that'll be great.
AUDIE CORNISH: Unidentified Man #1: We just want answers.
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
CORNISH: Guinta's district reflects the political trends of the last few years. It went blue in '06 and '08 with a MoveOn antiwar progressive, only to swing back into the red column with the victory of a Tea Party-backed fiscal conservative, Frank Guinta.
FRANK GUINTA: My position is this. I'll be responsible to taxpayers. I don't think our country should default on our obligations. But we shouldn't have these obligations in the first place. The spending that we have is excessive.
CORNISH: Guinta is a junior member of the House Budget Committee in a year that's already mired in budget showdowns. He and other Republicans have been back in their districts, trying to explain why they're cutting less spending than they pledged in their campaigns.
GUINTA: When I come back, I explained why we're in the CR process, and what that means and what percentage of the budget that is.
CORNISH: You think constituents are getting that? It's not easy to...
GUINTA: No, it's not and I think the constituents that are coming to events like this and asking the questions, yes, they walk away with a better understanding. However, I'm still hearing that they want to see further reductions. And, quite frankly, that will happen as scheduled, with the budget coming out in April.
CORNISH: Congressman Guinta and the other GOP freshmen voted but failed to cut another $22 billion in the House budget bill. On this night, he praises House votes to try and repeal or defund the health care law. But it's not enough for this attendee from Hempstead, who identified himself as John.
JOHN: You had a chance this month to pull 105 billion from ObamaCare, defunding it by voting no on the continuing resolution. You did not. This would only shut down nonessential government services and you didn't stand your ground. You now seem to me to be a typical Washington politician.
CORNISH: At the same time, when Guinta touts his votes on cutting spending by eliminating earmarks, Bob Perry of Strafford walks away unimpressed.
BOB PERRY: Until very recently, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard was funded through earmarks. So without earmarks, the Portsmouth Naval shipyard, it would not exist today. And that's, you know, at least 2,000 jobs. Nothing is simple. Nothing is cut and dry. There are consequences to everything that we do.
CORNISH: Audie Cornish, NPR News, Manchester, New Hampshire.
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.