GOP criticizes Biden’s budget proposal in front of his budget director: ‘Funky voodoo accounting’
Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee tore into President Biden’s “funky voodoo accounting” budget proposal for the next fiscal year during a tense hearing with one of the commander-in-chief’s top budget officials on Wednesday.
Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., suggested to Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young that Biden’s progressive policies, if implemented, could lead to a repeat of the issues that caused the country’s 16th largest banking institution to collapse over the weekend in roughly 48 hours – and at another point called the plan “funky voodoo accounting.”
“Listening to my friends across the aisle today and the rationale behind the president’s budget proposal, I’m fearful the White House is using the same voodoo accounting that brought down [Silicon Valley Bank],” Marshall said at another point during his allotted time.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said, “I find it curious, if not troubling, that the president claims to be a steward of fiscal responsibility with a track record on deficit and debt accumulation in the last two years, during which there was Democratic control of both the House and the Senate.”
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Biden’s budget includes an array of progressive policy points, including a $1.8 billion expenditure for the Environmental Protection Agency geared toward “advancing racial equity and securing environmental justice” and expanded protections under Obamacare. He is also seeking to make college more affordable, while also pleasing more hawkish members of Congress by seeking a boost to defense spending.
The president’s plan aims to bring down federal deficits by nearly $3 trillion, chiefly by imposing steeper taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations. However, Republicans have warned that the economic burden would nevertheless fall to middle and working class families, and they have criticized Biden for suggesting spending initiatives at a time of high inflation and interest rates. Meanwhile, conservatives within the GOP have refused to deal with the looming debt ceiling crisis until Biden agrees to cut spending in the coming years.
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“This is the equivalent of a young adult who’s maxed out their own personal credit card and now instead of cutting expenses, ask their parents for another credit card. I asked you what parent would comply with this ill-fated request?” Marshall said.
The committee’s top Republican said Biden’s budget will stifle the country’s economy growth.
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“In President Biden’s vision for the future, American debt leaves us more vulnerable and less competitive on the world stage and at home. Private business investment is increasingly going to be crowded out, leading to anemic economic growth, lower wages, fewer jobs. And you get out of this budget situation not by growing taxes but by growing the economy,” said Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley.
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, pressed Young on Democrats’ claim that Republicans want to cut Social Security and Medicare funding – though he left party affiliation out of his direct questioning.
“Current members have well-known policies out there to cut Social Security and Medicare,” Young said after several interruptions from Romney.
A visibly irate Romney replied, “That is simply wrong. And it’s not honest to say that to members of Congress, that is simply wrong. There is no one who’s recommending cutting Social Security benefits.”
The Biden official said later that the administration would “look forward to seeing a plan that suggests that Social Security is off the table.”
“You know, I really do find that it just offensive in the extreme – which is, you can’t name anyone who is proposing Social Security benefits. I have said and I know my colleagues, no one is proposing cutting Social Security benefits for our Social Security recipients. No one is proposing that on our side. And you keep on saying that’s the biggest threat.”
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