Nelson calls for budget deal
April 6th, 2011
Omaha, NE – While Republicans and Democrats continue to try to work out a budget compromise, Nebraskaâ€™s Democratic Senator Ben Nelson says itâ€™s time to stop playing politics and make a deal.
Itâ€™s become a battle of wills between Republicans and Democrats. Members on both sides of the aisle are unable to come to a budget agreement to see the government through September. In Senator Ben Nelsonâ€™s weekly press conference with reporters, he said a series of short-term extensions have only made the problem worse.
â€œThe delays caused by continuing short-term resolutions have had negative consequences,” he said. “Iâ€™m not going to support another short-term continuing resolution, because we’ve just kicked the can down the road long enough.â€
Nelson said the shutdown could have dire consequences for Nebraskans in several forms. He said those could include delays in reimbursements for federal road projects, which could result in projects being delayed and workers being furloughed. Medicare patients could be denied care or have to wait. Perhaps most relevant to the current times would be that the IRS will not be able to answer its taxpayer hot line at the height of tax season.
â€œThis should not be about the next election,” Nelson said. “This needs to be about today and whatâ€™s right for the American people and the continuity of the recovery of our economy. Recovery at the present time is fragile and reversible. The focus should be on jobs and an economy that continues to grow, not this gamesmanship.â€
Nelson said a major problem lies in the House identifying a small portion of the budget- approximately 20 percent, as being discretionary. The solution, as Nelson sees it, comes in diversifying the cuts to a larger range of the overall budget.
â€œEverything should be on the table when weâ€™re considering cuts. What the House has done is focus on the most vulnerable end and has made some proposals that are just not appropriate.â€
Itâ€™s unclear whether Republicans will come on board with any compromise. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Republican from West Virginia, said that despite the Republicanâ€™s repeated calls for fiscal sanity, Senate Democrats are still refusing to act or listen to the American people.