Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 3, 2015

Coburn, Flake Urge Opposition to House CR Spending Level

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two of the most fiscally conservative senators are pushing their colleagues to oppose a House-proposed stopgap spending bill that would keep spending flat.

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake made his pitch in a floor speech Wednesday, with Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn following on Thursday with a letter to Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. Under the 2011 debt limit deal that created the budget sequester, spending for fiscal 2014 should be $967 billion, but House Republicans have offered to fund the government closer to this year’s $988 billion level.

“As you know, fiscal year 2014 is the last year discretionary spending will actually be reduced as a result of the Budget Control Act,” Coburn wrote. “After next year, the law allows discretionary spending to once again increase annually. Removing the spending restrains for 2014 would, therefore, make a mockery of the agreement to restrain spending because spending would have only been reduced for one year.”

“As so often happens this time of year, talk is turning to the need for a continuing resolution for at least part of the next year, and I urge my colleagues to join me pushing for a ‘CR’ that respects the commitments that we have already made,” Flake said Wednesday on the Senate floor, noting that a CR level above $967 billion would trigger another set of sequester-imposed automatic cuts.

“I can see why there are those who would want to take such action. Passing a CR at a higher-than-BCA-appropriate level will create yet another fiscal cliff, with the hopes — I’m sure — of causing enough pressure to finally do away with the sequester,” Flake said, referring to the Budget Control Act. “That’s what some would like. However, such a scenario does little to add pressure to address the sequester; it provides a pretense that the BCA levels don’t mean anything if even for a short while; and it further complicates agencies implementing what are sure to be the required cuts.”

Following Flake and Coburn would require opposing the continuing resolution drafted by the House Appropriations Committee, which is set at a $986.3 billion level, which comes in above the $967 billion Budget Control Act number. Work continues in the House to find a way forward on the stopgap measure after House consideration was put off until next week.

Senate appropriators have written bills assuming a fix to turn off the automatic sequester cuts, while the GOP-led House broke through the caps on security and defense spending in their versions of fiscal 2014 bills. Several Senate GOP appropriators have already pledged to oppose any bills in excess of the $967 billion level.

Much of the attention in the spending debate has focused on efforts by some Republicans in each chamber to oppose a CR unless it defunds Obamacare, but the disagreement over budget levels shouldn’t be undersold. Coburn is among the Republicans who has publicly opposed the tactic of trying to force a CR to block funding for the health care overhaul.

When a reporter asked Reid if a budget level akin to the one in the House CR would be acceptable for Senate Democrats, Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., jumped in.

“Essentially, that is the correct question. That is what we should be talking about right now, is what number we are willing to keep the government open at,” Murray said. “I wish that was the number that we were sitting down and negotiating over and not over whether they’re going to repeal Obamacare or shut down the government or do whatever else they’re going to do to create a crisis.”

Murray will undoubtedly oppose the budget levels that Flake and Coburn want to see take effect, of course.

Text of the letter from Coburn to Reid and Boehner appears below:

Dear Speaker Boehner and Leader Reid,

Americas are fed up with Congress’ inability to keep its promises and control spending. Just two years ago, we committed to the taxpayers and each other to begin an era of fiscal restraint with passage of the Budget Control Act of 2011, and already efforts are underway to unravel that agreement.

As the only major bipartisan deficit reduction bargain in the last fifteen years, the Budget Control Act provided a ten year blue print to restrain federal spending, accepted in exchange for a $2 trillion increase in the national debt limit. The balanced compromise reduced both defense and non-defense spending, but for only two years. Under the bipartisan agreement, total discretionary spending in FY 2014 is capped at $967 billion. Most of this spending would still be financed with borrowed money as the deficit for the year is still projected to be $560 billion.

As you know, fiscal year 2014 is the last year discretionary spending will actually be reduced as a result of the Budget Control Act. After next year, the law allows discretionary spending to once again increase annually. Removing the spending restrains for 2014 would, therefore, make a mockery of the agreement to restrain spending because spending would have only be reduced for one year.

This is an all too familiar Washington narrative that explains why our national debt is nearly $17 trillion. Just today, the Congressional Budget Office revealed the initial House CR would exceed the current spending limits by $19 billion. Congress cannot break its commitment to restrain spending while expecting another debt limit increase to pay for its broken promises with even more borrowed money.

We reject the temptation of any short term political victory that paves the way for bigger debt, bigger borrowing, and bigger government. Therefore, we absolutely oppose any continuing resolution or appropriations legislation that would increase spending above the levels provided under the Budget Control Act. Furthermore, if Congress cannot keep its word to control spending as agreed to in the bipartisan Budget Control Act, we will not agree to additional increases in the debt limit. We do not need another bipartisan agreement to increase spending and borrowing.

 

Comments (21)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    1:14 p.m.

    An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

    http://www.furtdsolinopv.com/

  2. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    8:42 a.m.

    Whats Taking place i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It absolutely useful and it has helped me out loads. I’m hoping to contribute & assist other customers like its helped me. Good job.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  3. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    10:57 p.m.

    Hey there just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the same outcome.

    http://fokkad.com/author/RomanKzEjES

  4. Anonymous

    July 9, 2015
    9:05 a.m.

    Hello! I just want to give an enormous thumbs up for the great data you may have here on this post. I shall be coming back to your weblog for more soon.

    http://eterna.stanford.edu/web/player/217192/

  5. Anonymous

    July 12, 2015
    12:53 p.m.

    I’ve been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this website. Thanks , I will try and check back more often. How frequently you update your site?

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  6. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    8:37 a.m.

    Greetings! Very helpful advice on this article! It is the little changes that make the biggest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

    http://www.lingua2.eu/a/index.php?title=Why_Is_My_Auto_Insurance_Score_So_Low

  7. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    2:45 a.m.

    I precisely wished to say thanks once more. I’m not certain the things that I would have worked on in the absence of the tips and hints provided by you over this area of interest. Previously it was a real distressing scenario in my circumstances, however , encountering the very well-written form you handled that made me to jump with delight. I’m just happier for this support and thus believe you realize what a great job you are undertaking teaching many people with the aid of your blog. Most probably you’ve never met any of us.

    http://lowcostautoquotes.com

  8. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    4:16 a.m.

    I think other web-site proprietors should take this site as an model, very clean and magnificent user genial style and design, let alone the content. You are an expert in this topic!

    http://split.us

  9. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    1:25 p.m.

    Hello my friend! I wish to say that this post is awesome, nice written and include almost all significant infos. I’d like to see more posts like this.

    http://split.us

  10. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    10:16 p.m.

    It’s really a cool and useful piece of information. I’m happy that you simply shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

    https://bestplumbers.com

  11. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    10:55 p.m.

    A lot of thanks for your own work on this web site. My niece really loves going through investigations and it’s easy to understand why. A lot of people notice all about the dynamic method you give good thoughts via the website and therefore recommend contribution from people on this concept while our own daughter has always been starting to learn a lot of things. Have fun with the rest of the new year. You’re the one conducting a wonderful job.

    https://bestplumbers.com

  12. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    7:18 p.m.

    you have a great blog here! would you like to make some invite posts on my blog?

    https://community.linksys.com/t5/user/myprofilepage/tab/personal-profile:personal-info

  13. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    10:43 p.m.

    I like this web site so much, saved to fav. “American soldiers must be turned into lambs and eating them is tolerated.” by Muammar Qaddafi.

    https://www.zotero.org/bike74tray

  14. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    8:49 a.m.

    The other day, while I was at work, my sister stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a 40 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  15. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    2:43 p.m.

    Thank you for another informative blog. Where else could I get that kind of info written in such an ideal method? I’ve a mission that I am just now working on, and I have been on the look out for such information.

    http://brookereviews.com/product/fat-diminisher-review-wesley-virgin-does-fat-diminisher-really-work-or-just-a-scam/

  16. Google

    July 30, 2015
    4:39 p.m.

    Just beneath, are several completely not associated websites to ours, having said that, they’re surely worth going over.

  17. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    9:07 p.m.

    Very interesting information!Perfect just what I was looking for! “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters.” by Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.

    http://fandaily.info

  18. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    9:23 a.m.

    Really excellent information can be found on web blog. “The American temptation is to believe that foreign policy is a subdivision of psychiatry.” by Robert Francis Kennedy.

    http://przedszkole-roza.pl/

  19. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    4:23 p.m.

    Nice post. I learn something more challenging on different blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their store. I’d prefer to use some with the content on my blog whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll give you a link on your web blog. Thanks for sharing.

    http://przedszkole-roza.pl/

  20. Anonymous

    Aug. 2, 2015
    2:34 p.m.

    Great post. I was checking constantly this weblog and I am inspired! Very useful information specifically the closing section :) I deal with such info much. I was seeking this particular info for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

    http://www.consultdustry.com/send-resume/

  21. Anonymous

    Aug. 2, 2015
    6:29 p.m.

    Nice read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing some research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch! “Procrastination is the thief of time.” by Edward Young.

    http://www.consultdustry.com

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...