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February 22, 2011

Across The Country, Republicans Are Taking The Lead To Solve Fiscal
Crises While Democrats Literally Run From The Problem


REPUBLICANS LEAD: On Saturday, The Republican-Led House Of Representatives “Made Good On Its
Pledge” And Passed Continuing Resolution Containing $60 Billion In Spending Cuts. “The House early
Saturday approved a huge package of spending cuts, slashing more than $60 billion from domestic
programs, foreign aid, and even some military projects, as the new Republican majority made good on its
pledge to turn the grassroots fervor of the November elections into legislative action to shrink the size and
scope of government. The vote, of 235 to 189, was a victory for the large, boisterous class of fiscally
conservative Republican freshmen that is fiercely determined to change the ways of Washington and that
forced party leaders to pursue far bigger cuts than originally planned.” (David M. Herszenhorn, “House Votes To Cut $60 Billion,
Setting Up Budget Clash,” The New York Times, 2/19/11)

• The Cuts Were $100 Billion Below President Obama’s Budget Request For The Year. “The
House on Saturday passed a Republican bill that cuts federal spending by $61 billion below current
levels, or $100 billion below President Obama's budget request for fiscal year 2011. Obama's budget
was never enacted.” (Mike Lillis, “Schumer: GOP Puts Congress On Course For Inevitable Government Shutdown,” The Hill, 2/20/11)
THE DEMOCRAT RESPONSE: Obama Threatened To Veto The House-Passed CR, Which Could Cause A
Government Shut-Down. “The Continuing Resolution (CR) bill currently on the House floor would keep the
government operating past March 4. Some version of the CR is needed to avoid a shutdown since the
Democratic-led Congress failed to pass a budget last year. Congress in December passed a stopgap funding
bill to keep the government operating through March 4. … The Office of Management and Budget on
Tuesday issued a statement indicating that Mr. Obama will veto the CR bill as it stands …” (Stephanie Condon, “Is a
Government Shutdown in March on the Table?” CBS News, 2/16/11)

• Democrats Actively Talk About A Government Shutdown, Hoping To Have “Political Edge On
The Issue.” “Senate Democrats are talking about a possible government shutdown more than
Republicans, a sign that Democrats are confident they have the political edge on the issue. Senate
Democrats have met with senior White House officials in preparation for an intense clash with
Republicans over government spending levels and a proposal to increase the national debt ceiling.
The three highest-ranking Senate Democratic leaders warned on Thursday that a shutdown is a real
possibility.” (Alexander Bolton, “Government Shutdown On The Lips Of Senate Democrats, Not Republicans,” The Hill, 2/4/11)


REPUBLICANS LEAD: Republicans Have Vowed “To Include Entitlement Reforms In Their
Forthcoming Budget.” “House Republican leaders vowed Tuesday to include entitlement reforms in their
forthcoming budget to help begin the ‘adult conversation’ on reform that President Obama said he desired.
‘Our budget will lead where the President has failed, and it will include real entitlement reforms so that we

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can have a conversation with the American people about the challenges we face and the need to chart a new
path to prosperity,’ House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a joint statement with the rest of the GOP
leadership team and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).” (Michael O'Brien, “GOP Vows Its Budget Will
Include Plans For Entitlement Reform,” The Hill, 2/15/11)

THE DEMOCRAT RESPONSE: A Senior Democrat Aide Called Republicans “Suckers” For Offering To
Show Leadership On Entitlements. “‘They are suckers,’ said one senior Democratic Congressional aide of
the House GOP plans to release the first detailed proposals to reduce entitlement spending. ‘They have
painted themselves into a corner.’” (Glen Thrush, “Has Obama Set GOP Entitlement Trap?” Politico, 2/16/11)
• The Reason Republicans Must Now Take The Lead Is Because When Given The Chance To
Show Leadership With His Own Budget, Obama “Chose Instead To Duck” Behind “The Sort Of
Budgetary Gimmicks He Once Derided.” “Having been given the chance, the cover and the push by
the fiscal commission he created to take bold steps to raise revenue and curb entitlement spending,
President Obama, in his fiscal 2012 budget proposal, chose instead to duck. To duck, and to mask
some of the ducking with the sort of budgetary gimmicks he once derided.” (Editorial, “President Obama's Budget
Kicks The Hard Choices Further Down The Road,” The Washington Post, 2/15/11)

REPUBLICANS LEAD: Ohio Gov. John Kasich “Is Determined To Transform State Government Into A
Smaller, Less-Expensive And, He Assures, More-Efficient Entity.” “A seismic shift in the way state
government operates and serves its citizens is at hand, provoked by a set of circumstances unique in recent
history, including widespread recognition that the status quo isn't working and cannot be sustained
financially. The recession has ravaged state resources, and a new Republican governor with hefty GOP
majorities in the General Assembly is poised to seize the moment, determined to transform state
government into a smaller, less-expensive and, he assures, more-efficient entity. ‘I really believe this is our
chance,’ Gov. John Kasich said. ‘If we miss this opportunity, I'm not sure we'll have another try.’” (Joe Hallett,
“Statehouse Lobbyists Seem To Get Kasich’s Message,” The Columbus Dispatch, 2/7/11)

• Ohio Republicans Introduced Bill That Would Encourage Merit-Based Raises And Allow Non-
Union Members To Refuse To Pay Dues. “The Ohio proposal, sponsored by Republican Sen.
Shannon Jones, would abolish collective bargaining rights for state workers and restrict teachers,
firefighters, police, university employees and local workers in their bargaining abilities. Unions
would lose the ability to negotiate salary schedules and step increases in favor of merit-based raises.
Unions would be barred from requiring non-members covered by their contracts to pay dues.” (Patrick
Preston, “Kasich On Senate Bill 5: ‘I Am Very Optimistic,’” NBC4i, 2/21/11)

THE DEMOCRAT RESPONSE: “Thousands Of Demonstrators” Including Former-Democrat Governor

Marched On The State Capitol To Protest The Bill. “In Ohio, where the state Senate is considering a
similar law known as SB5 that would eliminate collective bargaining for many state workers, thousands of
demonstrators, some carrying signs that read ‘Kill SB5’ or ‘Stop SB5’ packed the lawn outside the state
Capitol. Among the protesters was former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, a Democrat who lost the election
last year to Republican John Kasich, who supports the measure.” (Jeff Mayers, “Democrats Flee Wisconsin To Protest Union
Curbs,” Reuters, 2/17/11)

REPUBLICANS LEAD: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Has Offered A Bill That Would Save State
Taxpayers $330 Million. “Walker offered the bill to help shore up the state's finances in advance of a
budget to be delivered Tuesday that is expected to include major cuts in areas like aid to local schools and
governments. He first wants the budget repair bill passed to help clear up a $137 million budget shortfall
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for the fiscal year ending June 30 and ease solving a deficit of more than $3 billion over the next two years.
The cuts to benefits would save taxpayers nearly $330 million through mid-2013.” (Jason Stein, Patrick Marley, and
Steve Schultze, “Walker Calls For Senate Dems To End Their Boycott And Vote,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2/17/11)

• “[The Plan] Would Also Require Government Workers, Who Currently Contribute Little Or
Nothing To Their Pensions, To Contribute 5.8% Of Their Pay To Pensions, And Pay At Least
12.6% Of Health-Care Premiums, Up From An Average Of 6%.” (Kris Maher And Douglas Belkin, “in Wisconsin
Fight, Officials Search Capitol For Democrats,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/17/11)

THE DEMOCRAT RESPONSE: Senate Democrats Literally Fled The State To Avoid Being Forced To Do
Their Jobs. “State Sens. Spencer Coggs (D-Milwaukee) Jon Erpenbach (D-Fitchburg) said Thursday all 14
Senate Democrats had left Wisconsin Thursday to avoid being forcibly returned to the Capitol to vote on
Gov. Scott Walker's proposed elimination of public worker bargaining rights. … Wisconsin lawmakers could
be forcibly returned to the Capitol by Wisconsin police or state troopers -- if they had stayed in Wisconsin,
he said.” (Steve Schultze, “Senators Left Wisconsin To Avoid Forced Return To CApitol,” The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s “All Politics” Blog, 2/17/11)

REPUBLICANS LEAD: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Vetoed Democrat-Passed Budget Containing Tax
Hikes And Eventually Won Passage Of His Budget That Included Major Cuts In Spending. “This year,
when New Jersey Democrats proposed a tax surcharge on income above $1 million, the state faced a
possible government shutdown if Christie did not relent. … He added, ‘so what happened? They sent me that
tax increase, I vetoed it, immediately, within the first 30 seconds they handed it to me, I handed it right back
to them. And then they passed my budget.’ After a months-long fight, Democrats in New Jersey reluctantly
agreed in June to a $29.3 billion budget, along the lines of what Christie had proposed, that included $800
million in cuts to education and eliminated or reduced the funding of dozens of programs and agencies.”
(Perry Bacon Jr., “N.J. Gov. Chris Christie Becoming A National Hero Of GOP,” The Washington Post, 10/30/10)

• “The governor called the state legislature into an emergency session and pushed through a
2% cap in annual increases of property-taxes, which have risen 70% in the past decade in New
Jersey. He halted popular projects, including a multibillion-dollar train tunnel to Manhattan.”
(Monica Langley, “Governor Christie's Ultimate Test,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/22/10)

• Christie Introduced Bill To Tie Teacher Pay To Performance And End The Awarding Of Tenure
After Three Years. “On Sept. 28, nine months after taking office, Mr. Christie unveiled his plan to
revamp schools. He pushed for linking teachers' raises and job security to ‘teacher effectiveness and
student performance,’ instead of the current system of rewarding seniority and advanced training.
He called for an end to New Jersey's practice of awarding tenure after only three years.” (Monica Langley,
“Governor Christie's Ultimate Test,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/22/10)

THE DEMOCRAT RESPONSE: The NJ Teachers Union Aired Ads And Held 35,000 Person Rally Critical
Of Christie, And One County Chapter President Sent Around Private Memo Praying For Christie’s
Death. “Ms. Keshishian ordered up a series of counter-punches to the governor's charges. The NJEA shifted
money from ‘Pride in Public Education’ spots to 30-second ads critical of Mr. Christie. … NJEA led its
members and other community and labor groups in a rally, dubbed ‘Standing Up, Standing Together.’ About
35,000 members gathered at the state capitol in Trenton. … In April, Joe Coppola, president of the Bergen
County Education Association, a county union chapter, emailed a memo to members with a closing prayer:
‘Dear Lord, this year you have taken away my favorite actor Patrick Swayze, my favorite actress Farrah
Fawcett, my favorite singer Michael Jackson and my favorite salesman Billy Mays.’ He concluded: ‘I just
wanted to let you know that Chris Christie is my favorite governor.’ The private memo became public.” (Monica
Langley, “Governor Christie's Ultimate Test,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/22/10)

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