The Hill reports that the immense budget deficit (and the reaction from many conservative groups) is starting to trouble Congressional Republicans -- who are largely to blame for the recent ballooning of non-defense spending.
Conservative Republicans have been emboldened to demand strict spending reforms by a report released yesterday by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that forecasts a nearly $2.4 trillion dollar budget deficit over the next decade. ...The idea of spending caps is great, but in order for them to be effective they'd have to be enacted via Constitutional amendment because Congress cannot pass laws restricting the actions of future Congresses.
Conservatives say that their list of reforms includes across-the-board non-defense budget cuts, spending caps with real teeth and requirements that efforts to waive House budgetary rules be voted on by the GOP caucus behind closed doors in order to reach the floor.
The growing backlash against mounting deficits is being led mostly by junior lawmakers who have served for less time in the House than many of their colleagues and who still retain more of the ideological fervor that caused them to run in the first place.Apparently President Bush's mention of fiscal discipline was more than window-dressing. I hope Republicans will quit doing all the things we castigated the Democrats for when they controlled Congress.
Pence and Flake are only in their second term, and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) — who colleagues say is spearheading the effort to impose tough spending caps — is a freshman.
However, conservatives say their reinvigorated fight for fiscal discipline is less a battle against their fellow Republicans than symptomatic of a growing realization among all Republicans that spending must be curtailed if economic growth is to continue.
One lawmaker reported that in Hill meetings last week after Bush’s State of the Union speech, “a wide range of members began to talk about the budget resolution.
“It was really fascinating to hear across the spectrum of the Republican conference that there is a real desire to get back to fiscal discipline.”