Senator Reid outlined the Republican and Democratic plans as follows:
- It slashes more than a billion dollars from Social Security, which means half a million seniors who paid into Social Security their entire lives will be waiting for benefits their country promised them.
- It cuts $700 million from education, which means a million disadvantaged students could lose funding and more than 10,000 teachers, aides and school staff could lose their jobs. It would even take 200,000 children out of Head Start.
- It closes poison-control centers and cut $100 million from food-safety inspections. That means the food we eat could be both less safe and more expensive and that's a lose-lose proposition.
- It cuts three-quarters of a billion dollars from renewable energy investments, which will cost us jobs, threaten our energy independence and delay the day America lives and works in a clean-energy economy.
- It cuts hundreds of millions of dollars from border security, port security and FEMA. Even some Republican Congressmen readily admit it's not so smart to pinch pennies on the backs of our national security and first responders.
The Democrat's Plan: "We know that we have to make cuts. But we also know that when we cut, we have to cut in a way that strengthens our economy -- not in a way that weakens it. We know we have to look carefully at the quality of these cuts and not get blinded by the quantity. After all, as I've said before, you can lose a lot of weight by cutting off your arms and legs -- but no doctor would recommend it. Our plan cuts $51 billion from President Obama's budget, but in a much more responsible way. We're eliminating redundancies, ending unnecessary bureaucratic programs and cutting funding for earmarks. [Note: analysts indicate that using the "same baseline," Democratic cuts amount to only $6-$10 billion].
"Our plan recognizes that we're not in a competition to determine who can cut the most, without regard for the consequences. Rather, we need to cooperate to figure out where we can cut the smartest. While the House-passed plan is based in ideology, ours is based in reality. These are decisions about real money that solve real problems that affect real lives. Our budget affirms and reflects our values. We see our modestly recovering economy, including today's news that employers are hiring at the fastest pace in almost a year, and the national unemployment rate fell to a nearly two-year low. We can't squander this cautiously optimistic news with counterproductive cuts."
"Over the last few weeks, Members of Congress have been debating their own proposals. And I was pleased that Democrats and Republicans in Congress came together a few days ago and passed a plan to cut spending and keep the government running for two more weeks. Still, we can't do business two weeks at a time. It's not responsible, and it threatens the progress our economy has been making. We've got to keep that momentum going. . . Getting our fiscal house in order can't just be something we use as cover to do away with things we dislike politically. And it can't just be about how much we cut. It's got to be about how we cut and how we invest. We've got to be smart about it. Because if we cut back on the kids I've met here and their education, for example, we'd be risking the future of an entire generation of Americans. And there's nothing responsible about that. . ."
Access the statement from Sen. Reid (click here). Access a release from Sen. McConnell (click here).Access the statement from President Obama (click here).
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