GOP Rep. Mulvaney: Defense Spending Must be Cut; ‘Confident’ That Energy Subsidies Will be Spiked

By Cullen Dirner

May 11, 2011 2:32pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: House Speaker John Boehner’s vow to cut trillions – not simply billions – in federal spending is getting rave reviews from freshman Republican lawmakers, many of whom say they’re willing to take on even treasured areas of spending such as Defense and entitlement programs.

On ABC’s “Top Line” today, freshman Rep. Mick Mulvaney told us that he thinks Boehner’s goal is doable, even in a short time frame.

“How can you cut trillions of dollars? You just decide that you’re going to do it. That’s what happens here,” Mulvaney, R-S.C., told us.

“When a lot of folks back home tell me, ‘Listen, I like the way Medicare is, can’t we leave it the same way?’ My answer is, ‘That went away with Obamacare last year.’ So now that Medicare has been put on the table by the other side, I think we get a chance to talk about it.”

Mulvaney continued: “Defense has to be cut — it has to be on the table, no question. There’s a group of Republicans — myself included — who think that we should be cutting Defense. There’s a large portions of folks in our own party who know that you can cut Defense and not impact the ability of our troops in the field to be defending us. So I think it does need to be on the table.”

“The goal here is to balance the budget. And if you’re going to do that, you gotta look at everything.”

Mulvaney today announced the latest phase in the GOP’s “YouCut” program, where people can go online and vote for federal programs they want funding reduced or eliminated on. Republican House leaders are guaranteeing that each week’s winning proposals will get votes in the House.

“We’re looking to try to and get 1 million people involved every week this year,” he said. “Every penny counts, No. 1. And this is the kind of stuff that we have to be able to show folks that we can have some fiscal disciple with before they’re going to trust us on the bigger things.”

“I mean we’re still spending money on Native American relations between folks in Alaska and Massachusetts. We have mohair subsidies, for crying out loud. Until we can send a message that we at least have the discipline to cut that spending, how can they trust us on the big stuff?”

Mulvaney also said he’s open to cutting subsidies for big oil companies, notwithstanding the resistance to any such move in some corners of his party.

“I remind everybody, by the way, that the Democrats had been in charge here for a while. Those subsidies are still here. They could have done this two years ago when they were in charge. But I bring up not only those subsidies, but the seven-10-times larger subsidies that green energy gets.

“And I’m one of the folks that just wants to say listen, “Let’s just get rid of all these subsidies. Let’s level the playing field. Let’s let the market work.’ And I hope we get a chance to do that this year. In fact, I’m confident that we will.”

Watch the full interview with Rep. Mick Mulvaney HERE:

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