View Full Version : Obama Obummer is not gonna like this.....Blue Dogs on the rise

03-19-2009, 04:31 PM
Conservative and moderate Democrats flex muscles

Mar 19 05:15 PM US/Eastern

WASHINGTON (AP) - Conservative and moderate Democrats are flexing their muscles on Capitol Hill, demanding significantly lower spending for domestic programs as well as automatic budget cuts if tax cuts and new programs would increase the deficit.
A group of 51 so-called "Blue Dog" House Democrats released their roster of budget demands Thursday, calling for cutting more than $40 billion from domestic programs funded by Congress each year.

At the same time, they said that President Barack Obama's controversial bill to fight global warming should not be permitted to advance under rules that shut off the right of Senate Republicans to filibuster the measure.

The Blue Dogs, a coalition of moderate and conservative Democrats, many of them from the South, control a critical bloc of votes needed to pass the congressional budget blueprint. It is the first legislative response to Obama's $3.6 trillion budget for next year.

Of greatest importance to the group is putting in place a legally binding "pay as you go" system governing new tax cuts and benefit programs such as Obama's health reform initiative.

Under such a regimen, legislation cutting taxes, establishing new benefit programs or making current programs more generous must be "paid for" with higher revenues or benefit cuts elsewhere. If the rule is broken, it would trigger across-the-board cuts in other benefit programs, with Social Security exempted.

Such a statutory pay-as-you-go system, or "paygo," was in place for years in the 1990s and early this decade, though the law was simply "switched off" when Congress passed President George W. Bush's 2001 tax-cut bill.

"We're trying to be constructive in a way that allows the president to get an acceptable budget," said Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-La., "but at the same time get paygo statutorily put in place."

While the group hasn't drawn any lines in the sand, some of their demands are likely to be met, especially regarding global warming. Opposition from the Blue Dogs likely ensures that Obama's controversial "cap-and-trade" plan to limit greenhouse gases won't advance in a fast-track budget bill that could avoid a GOP filibuster in the Senate.

Under cap-and-trade, the government would establish a market for carbon dioxide by selling credits to companies that emit greenhouse gases. The companies can then invest in technologies to reduce emissions to reach a certain target or buy credits from other companies that already have met their emission reduction goals. The cost of the credits would be passed on to consumers.

The demands by moderates to curb the growth of domestic agency budgets by limiting the increase for next year to inflation will face great resistance from senior lawmakers and the administration.

Obama sought a $51 billion, 9 percent increase for non-defense programs, a figure that's probably too high to pass, especially with Congressional Budget Office estimates on Friday expected to show that the worsening economy with produce significantly higher deficits than predicted by Obama's budget.

"I'm going to show that we've made many adjustments in the budget in light of CBO's re-estimates," said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D.

Administration allies such as House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis., are pressing for budget increases well above those sought by moderates.

The looming battle over how much to devote to annual domestic agency budgets is important because unlike other elements of the congressional budget plan—they are often more symbolic than substantive—the annual caps on appropriations have real impact on programs

03-19-2009, 04:44 PM
Well, these people will be the next targets of Queen Nancy.

03-19-2009, 05:22 PM
If only Hillary had listened...:clap:

03-19-2009, 07:30 PM
I didn't care for these guys during the War on Terror/Iraq episode. But I like this if true.
Unless they're pandering—which is always the chance with these guys now that polls are slipping. Same with some Rs who've been grandstanding.

03-20-2009, 08:16 AM
If only Hillary had listened...:clap:

Yeah, if only!(*sigh*)