Freshman Rep. Stutzman: ‘Setting Ourselves up for Failure’ Without More Budget Cuts

Feb 28, 2011 1:36pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports:

Democrats appear close to agreeing to Republicans’ short-term outline for cutting spending, with a two-week extension of government funding – coupled with some $4 billion in budget cuts – now on the table. 

But some newly elected House Republicans are growing frustrated by the pace of budget-cutting. They’re warning that they won’t stand for further temporary measure that don’t deliver on spending promises.

“People back home are trying to figure out if they can take Washington seriously right now. And if we don't get real cuts, I think we are setting ourselves up for failure,” Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-ind., told us on ABC’s “Top Line” today.

“Maybe a two-week extension with some cuts is gonna get us, you know, starting down that path. But I'll tell you, what are we gonna do — two weeks after two weeks after two weeks? At some point we're gonna have to draw a line in the sand.”

Asked if he’d be comfortable with a stand-off that led to a partial government shutdown, Stutzman said responsibility for that would rest with Democrats.

“I think if Senator [Harry] Reid and President Obama want to shut the government down over $2 billion in cuts or $4 billion in cuts, the American people are gonna say, come on, get real. We're broke right now and we're gonna have to start making progress somehow. And if we don’t take that first step and get to what we did this past week, or two weeks ago, and … cut $60 billion, they're just not going to take us seriously.”

“Either we start cutting the government and shrinking the size of government, or else we're going to face the political wrath of the American people,” Stutzman added.

“We've got to stop worrying about politics right now. We've got to start worrying about America. And if we don’t start dealing with the debt we have and the deficit spending we have in Washington, politics doesn't matter, because the American people do realize that they have to balance their budgets.”

Watch the full interview with Rep. Marlin Stutzman HERE.


Also today, we checked in with Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute on the prospects for compromise on spending, plus Republican promises to address entitlement spending in their budget proposal for next year.

Watch the discussion with Norm Ornstein HERE.


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