Since Republicans took the House majority in January I have been calling for our leadership to fight. We must answer the bell that was rung last November when the American people called us to fight for deep cuts in spending, for the full repeal of ObamaCare, for an end to taxpayer funding of abortion, and for a government that will live within its Constitutional boundaries. Those would be the kind of large-scale fights that could change the arc of history. Unfortunately, the fight that’s happening today in Washington is not even close to being on the same scale.
Our federal government spent $3.5 trillion last year, and is on a similar pace this year. On average, our spending adds about $30 billion to the deficit every week. Yet Washington is now embroiled in a pitched battle – that could lead to a government slowdown – over possible spending cuts of just $40 billion. Even the best case scenario would be cuts of $61 billion.
Don’t get me wrong, cuts in spending are a move in the right direction. House Republicans have brought about a change from the spending binge of the last two years. But it’s time to face the facts. This is the “small ball” battle that House leadership has chosen to engage. The current battle has devolved to an agenda that is almost too limited to warrant the kind of fighting that we’re now seeing in Washington.
Democrats only want to cut $33 billion of spending, while some reports say Republicans might settle for $40 billion. Either way, it’s not enough. We should be playing “big ball.” We should be fighting over trillions, not billions. We should be defunding ObamaCare, but we’re not.
I made a commitment to vote “no” on any Continuing Resolution that does not defund ObamaCare. That pledge to the American people remains unchanged. I believe that’s a battle we cannot walk away from. But, it’s not been an option in the recent government funding bills that House leaders have put up for a vote.
I am ready for a big fight, the kind that will change the arc of history. And, I’m hoping that when it comes to issues like the debt ceiling, ObamaCare, and the 2012 budget, House Republicans will take the lead, draw a line in the sand and not back down from the fight.