The Senate earlier today voted down the latest Republican deficit reduction proposal that would have frozen federal pay raises and bonuses.
The tax bill amendment, offered by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., would have also capped federal staffing levels and imposed a 5 percent across-the-board budget cut for all federal agencies except the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments. The amendment was defeated on a 41 – 57 vote.
Thune blasted lawmakers for defeating the amendment, which he called “a common sense step toward restoring fiscal sanity.”
“The defeat of my amendment was a missed opportunity for Congress to prove they are serious about tackling our dangerous spending habits and $13 trillion national debt.”
But Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., criticized Thune’s proposal, which he said would have hurt law enforcement and civilian Defense employees, and slashed Homeland Security and intelligence budgets.
“I support finding ways to make our government more efficient,” Baucus said. “But these cuts are arbitrary. They’re not thoughtful. They’re meat ax cuts.”