House Committee Rejects Less Tax Relief in Exchange for Increased Spending

By Jim Burns | July 7, 2008 | 8:27 PM EDT

( - Members of the House Republican Study Committee, a group that consists of over 70 House conservatives, released a comparison of House and Senate passed budget resolutions Thursday. The RSC said the Senate reduced the president's tax cut by $432 billion, while at the same time the Senate increased spending by $429 billion over the House Budget Resolution.

"The Senate Budget Resolution is quite an accomplishment for the big spenders in Washington. They managed to spend 99.3 percent of the money they 'saved' by cutting President Bush's tax relief package," said Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.), chairman of the House Republican Study Committee at a Capitol Hill news conference.

Shadegg also said, "we just want to point out that the message they [the Senate] are apparently sending is 'well, it's too risky to give tax relief but it's not too risky to engage in spending at the exact same level. There's a $3 billion difference between their reduction in the tax relief and their increase in the spending."

"The American people need to understand, it is the movie 'Field of Dreams.' If you the American people send it, we will in fact spend it, and the Senate Budget Resolution makes that very clear," said Shadegg.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) also blistered the Senate Budget Resolution.

"This is typical Washington at work. The senators pushing for lower tax relief are proof that the federal government will not hesitate, when given the chance, to squander money that should go back into the paychecks of the hardworking taxpayers who generated it," Ryan said.

Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) said the Senate Budget Resolution shows, "the emperor has no clothes."

"This is a perfect example of the problem we face here, year after year, decade after decade. We've had four decades of debt. Nobody talked about debt around here. It is an issue today because they know the American public is tuned into that. We know these people around here who mouth this continual stuff about debt reduction, couldn't care less about debt reduction. They want to continue to spend just like they've spent, decade after decade around here," said Tancredo.

Senate and House negotiators continued meetings on Capitol Hill over their differences on the budget and Bush's tax cut.

While the Republican-controlled House has fully backed Bush's $1.6 trillion 10-year tax-cut plan, the 50-50 split Senate agreed to a $1.2 trillion 10-year tax cut plus an $85 billion rebate for this year. Fifteen Democrats joined all of the Senate Republicans to pass the budget earlier this month.

Many lawmakers feel Senate and House negotiators will settle on a tax cut of about $1.4 trillion. But the bigger the tax cut, the harder it will be to get it through the Senate amid complaints by Democrats that Bush's plan would leave little room for more spending on education, prescription drugs, defense, agriculture, Social Security and other spending priorities.

"There can be some compromise on the number of $1.2 trillion, but it can't obviously be $1.6 trillion," said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican. "We have an opportunity of getting some Democratic votes above $1.2 trillion, but the further up you go, the less you get.''

The toughest battle may be over how much to increase spending. In its budget resolution, the House stuck to Bush's call for a 4 percent increase, while the Senate agreed to an 8 percent rise.