A day after Rep. Mike Simpson opposed a stopgap spending plan to keep federal agencies in business, Democratic challenger Nicole LeFavour accused Simpson and Republicans of politicizing the budget crisis.
Said LeFavour, a Boise state senator, "Like many, I fear Congress these past two years has delayed addressing real economic issues in the interest of keeping the economy down until after the November election. Essentially they have played politics with American lives. This sort of partisanship has decimated jobs, families, security and the values of cooperation and compassion which made this country great."
LeFavour also criticizes Simpson for supporting vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan's budget plans, and for embracing a "cuts only" approach to debt reduction.
Simpson has been a leading Republican in the House's "go big" coalition, which endorses a far-reaching debt-cuting plan that could entail tax increases. So this sets up an interesting dynamic: Is this a point Simpson is likely to make in the weeks leading up to the November election?
Here's a link to my blog post on the spending plan, and Simpson's opposition.
And here is LeFavour's statement:
As a member of the House Budget Committee today voting to oppose a continuing resolution to keep from shutting every federal agency and service down, Rep. Mike Simpson does little to offer solutions to the current budget stalemate.
As a state lawmaker who has served for four years balancing Idaho budgets and dealing with fiscal crises, it seems clear to me that those offering a "cuts only" approach to eliminating the deficit and passing a budget, have created not only this impasse but in part also created our nation's continuing economic crisis.
Over the course of the past five years federal budget cuts have eliminated more than 600,000 American jobs. Congress still pays unemployment benefits to a great number of these workers. We have to ask, if job creation is the most critical key to economic recovery, why has congress not restored these jobs so those families again have full income to support their community's small businesses, American manufacturers and our nation's economy?
Like many, I fear Congress these past two years has delayed addressing real economic issues in the interest of keeping the economy down until after the November election. Essentially they have played politics with American lives. This sort of partisanship has decimated jobs, families, security and the values of cooperation and compassion which made this country great.
It is time for Congressman Simpson to do the real work of proposing a budget that takes into account that the problem with our deficit goes beyond simple government spending and has an equal amount to do with fighting two wars and refusing to roll back eight years of tax cuts that have benefited the nation's most wealthy, obviously with no positive economic affect.
Rep. Simpson has voted more than once in favor of the Ryan Budget which further decimates jobs while cutting and essentially privatizing social security and Medicare for future generations of American seniors. Paul Ryan's budget is no solution to our nation's economic problems and is not a proposal any thinking policy maker would seriously consider as a compromise to resolve the current budget impasse.
Yes, it is time for Congress to get to work and to take seriously the affect that repeated cuts have on the economy. It is time for them to look all of us in the eye and ensure for once they are not decimating jobs more quickly than America's private sector can create them.