–Senate Democrats Scorch House GOP Budget Rules as ‘Gimmickry’
–House Speaker Boehner: Debt Hike Must be Linked by Spending ‘Action’
By John Shaw
WASHINGTON (MNI) – Sen. Chuck Schumer and Senate Majority Whip Dick
Durbin Thursday blasted House Republicans for changing budget
calculating rules that could exempt up to $1 trillion in tax cut costs
from budget calculations.
Schumer and Durbin also scorched the GOP plan as gimmickry that
could drive an already huge deficit even higher.
Schumer made it clear Senate Democrats will not agree to the kind
of fiscal policies that are likely to come from the House.
“Republican fiscal policies are dead on arrival,” he said at a
Schumer ridiculed Republicans for passing new rules Wednesday that
exclude costly items for their budget calculations, and said financial
markets will see through this approach — and punish it.
The bond market, he said, “looks at the deficit number period,”
Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement that
congressional votes to increase the debt ceiling must be linked to
“meaningful action” on controlling spending.
The House rules package, drafted by the new Republican majority,
overhauls the pay-as-you-go budget enforcement system in a fundamental
way. The previous system required offsets for new entitlement programs
and tax cuts. The new GOP process does not require offsets for tax cuts.
The new rules package also gives the House Budget Committee power
to set the discretionary spending level for the rest of the 2011 fiscal
Any spending and tax measures that the House approves must also be
approved by the Senate and accepted by President Obama. Most lawmakers
expect a vigorous battle over spending will unfold in the coming months.
On a related matter, Durbin said he is worried that House
Republicans will try to “starve” funding from the SEC and CFTC
enforcement programs as a backdoor way to undermine the Dodd-Frank
regulatory reform law.
** Market News International Washington Bureau: (202) 371-2121 **