On Friday, June 8, House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and the Republican caucus perfectly summed up exactly how little regard they have for the American public.
They talk about budget cuts. They talk about families hurting and making tough decisions. But when they come to Washington they protect their own budgets.
Republican leaders have centered their entire fiscal philosophy around Congressman Ryan’s draconian budget. A budget that cuts so deeply into programs for those most in need that Catholic leaders have risen in strong opposition to the pain it will cause.
How strong is the commitment to of House Republicans to painful budget cuts? Before wrapping up early on a Friday to head off on another week long vacation, House Leadership scheduled a vote on their bill to protect their own House office budgets from any cuts.
In the House, Republicans have total control over the legislation that goes to the floor for a vote. This was their opportunity to lead.
Instead they showed their true colors: they want to maximize office budgets to help their incumbents win in November. That is why, among other things, they maintained their massive franking budgets rather than capping them.
Franking is the House of Representatives term for taxpayer funded direct mail from Members of Congress. It is intended to inform constituents, but the large budgets serve to augment political direct mail for Members reelection campaigns.
The truth is that when Republican leaders talk about tightening belts they are really talking about tightening other people’s belts.
Food stamps? Cut!
Aid to states? No way!
Discretionary budgets for the Republican House leaders? Do not cut!
Uncapped franking budgets for Congress to send mail to their constituents? Do not cut!
What are their priorities?
Boehner, Cantor and House Republicans rail against Washington borrowing money – but when it comes to their budgets it is a different story. House Republican leaders prefer to pass the buck on to the taxpayers rather than sharing in the sacrifices American families are making.
Every American family would love to maintain their budget without having to make difficult cuts. The Tea Party House doesn’t get that and doesn’t think they should have to do the same.
The next time you hear a Republican member of the House of Representatives talk about the need for smaller government and tight budgets, remember that when the time came to tighten their budgets they said no then headed off on vacation – for the ninth time so far this year.
About Bill Buck
Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.