Hoyer Calls $100 Billion in Cuts to $3.7 Trillion Budget ‘A Meat-Axe Approach’

March 22, 2011 - 1:54 PM

Steny Hoyer

House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer of Md., speaks to supporters at an election night party in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Arlington, Va. (CNSNews.com) – Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the House Democratic whip, on Tuesday criticized Republicans for proposed budget cuts that he called “reckless.”

CNSNews.com asked Hoyer, after his speech before the National Association of Development Organizations, if he would support the $100 billion in cuts that House Republicans are proposing.

“I voted against H.R.1,” he told CNSNews.com, referring to the full-year appropriations bill. “I thought it was a simply a meat-axe approach without any consideration of priorities. Nothing was put in priority. No hearings. No analysis.”

He continued: “The way to do it is in a considered way, understanding the consequences of the cuts.”

During his speech, Hoyer said that part of the solution to the deficit was to cut spending --  but he qualified his support.

“We can not cut spending recklessly,” Hoyer said. “Cuts have to be smart and targeted” Hoyer said.

“Simply having a political document that makes a pledge to America and picking a figure out of the air of a $100 billion. Why? Because you analyzed that $100 billion was the figure you could cut. No, but because it sounded good. Hundred is a nice round number picked out of the air, put in a document and is now trying to be implemented in Washington. Without any concern for the consequences of those cuts. Without any concern what is spending and what is investing.”

According to Hoyer, Democrats have been more than willing to show compromise and they understand the deficit is a “substantial risk” to our economy and the welfare of our country.

“We are only targeting 14 percent of our budget; the other 86 percent is not being looked at,” he said.

Hoyer emphasized that $100 billion out of an entire budget of $3.7 trillion may seem small, but it represents is 22 percent of discretionary spending.