Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill — We’ll Spend All The Money Later Anyway Regardless of Senate Compromise
Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill from Missouri appeared on NBC’s Face The Nation this morning. In discussing the “compromise” Senate “stimulus” bill, which cuts about $100 billion in government spending as compared to the House bill, McCaskill justified the cuts by stating that the spending cuts could be added back later in an “omnibus” spending authorization. (Transcript to follow when available – UPDATE – reprinted below.)
So McCaskill, at least, recognizes that the “compromise” is not a real compromise. The spending “cuts” which induced Republican Senators Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, and Arlen Spector to support the “compromise” Senate bill are a ruse. There has been no agreement by Democrats not to spend the money, only not to spend it in the “stimulus” bill.
I guess the Collins-Snowe–Spector group didn’t pin down the definition of “cut.”
UPDATE No. 1 – Here’s what McCaskill said: “I think some of the money that we cut in the compromise to get the votes that we have was in fact spending that more appropriately should go in an appropriations bill…. And by the way, our bill is 90% the same as the House. The 10% difference was some of the cuts that we made in some of the things that could be put in an omnibus appropriations bill or an appropriation bill.” (My transcription; official transcript to follow when available – UPDATE – reprinted below)
Here’s the video. You have to listen to several minutes of Barney Frank hysteria and re-writes of history to get to McCaskill’s comments:
UPDATE No. 2 – Here is the excerpt from the official NBC transcript of the show. It is worse than I thought. In addition to admitting the intention to spend the “cuts” later, McCaskill admits that much of the stimulus bill was simply making good on previous Democratic priorities:
MR. GREGORY: But, Senator, you said about the House bill that in fact they did bloat it up with some spending, and they provided ammunition to Republicans to shoot this thing down and take over some of the political argument. Is that still what you believe?
SEN. McCASKILL: I, I, I do think that there was some spending in the bill that was makeup for a starvation diet under the Bush administration, some important priorities of our party; frankly, of the American people. And the question is does it belong in the stimulus bill or does it belong in the appropriations bill? I think some of the money that we cut in the compromise to get the votes that we, that we have was, in fact, spending that more appropriately should go in a, an appropriations bill.
MR. GREGORY: Should more be cut?
REP. PENCE: (Unintelligible)
MR. GREGORY: Should more be cut in the conference, do you believe? More spending be cut?
SEN. McCASKILL: I think we’ve got a good mix right now. It’s 60-40; 40 percent tax cuts, 60 percent spending, give or take 1 or 2 percentage points. And by the way, our bill is 90 percent the same as the House. The 10 percent difference was some of the cuts that we made in some of the things that could be put in an omnibus appropriations bill or an appropriations bill.
REP. FRANK: (Unintelligible)