GOP to Hold Rare Joint Conference on Budget

Posted March 30, 2009 at 1:55pm

House and Senate Republicans will convene in a rare bicameral conference meeting Wednesday to discuss their response to the Democratic budget proposals, according to a joint release Monday from the House and Senate GOP leadership.

The meeting will occur at 9 a.m. on the House floor, according to sources familiar with the event.

“As the Democrat budget is debated in the House and Senate this week, Republicans are united in protecting taxpayers from the most fiscally irresponsible budget in American history and instead passing a budget that curbs spending, creates jobs and controls debt,— GOP House Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) said.

—This bicameral meeting will highlight what Republicans on both sides of Capitol Hill know: President Obama’a budget spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much from our kids and grandkids,— House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said. “We are working together to make clear to the American people that we will offer better solutions that curb spending, create jobs, and control debt. Families and small businesses are hurting, but rather than confront this economic crisis directly, the President’s budget would use it as a pretext to increase the size of government. That is simply irresponsible.—

GOP Senate Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) said: “The Democrats’ budget is a blueprint for a very different America, one that our children and grandchildren can’t afford. It runs up more new debt than all the presidents from George Washington to George W. Bush combined.—

He added, “Republicans want to curb spending, create jobs and control debt.—

The joint GOP conference comes a week after House Republicans were widely lampooned for their release of a 19-page “budget blueprint— that contained broad themes but no numbers.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the ranking member of the House Budget Committee, is expected to release the detailed version of the House GOP alternative budget proposal Wednesday.

House and Senate Republicans have made a concerted effort to coordinate their messages in the 111th Congress in an attempt to have a larger and louder effect despite their minority status. The joint conference meeting comes as the House and Senate kick off debate on the budget. Both chambers expect to wrap up work and vote on the 2010 blueprint by the end of the week.