By Mike Lillis - 02/11/11 01:16 AM EST
The comments are intended to highlight the internal troubles facing House Republicans as they hammer out a budget blueprint for the second half of fiscal year 2011, while also underscoring the different approach each party has taken to create jobs.
Democrats say the best way to fight unemployment is through targeted increases in spending on education, research and infrastructure. They’re also calling for cuts in payments to oil companies and military contractors — spending they consider wasteful. Republicans, meanwhile, argue that deficit spending has impeded job creation in the private sector. They're hoping to cut billions of dollars from the EPA, the NIH and other programs long-championed by Democrats.
Last week, House GOP leaders proposed $32 billion in federal spending cuts through the end of September, but the figure drew howls from the conservative bloc of the caucus, which is pushing for cuts of at least $100 billion, as outlined in the “Pledge to America.” The stand-off forced Republicans back to the chopping block Thursday in search of more items to slice.
Democrats have pounced on the division in the GOP ranks.
“Right now, different factions of the House Republicans keep trying to outbid each other on spending cuts,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Thursday in a statement. “They are blindly swinging a meat axe to the budget when they should be using a scalpel.”
Schumer said some Republicans “won’t be satisfied with anything less than a shutdown of the government.”