House Republicans will force Democrats to go “on the record” about government spending in a symbolic vote next week timed to coincide with President Obama’s State of the Union address.
The House Rules Committee on Wednesday approved by a party-line vote of 8-4 a resolution calling on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to limit non-security discretionary spending in the second half of 2011 to 2008 levels “or less.”
Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-Calif.) said the full House will vote on the resolution on Tuesday in a bid to force every member to stake out a position on spending cuts ahead of Obama’s speech to Congress.
Committee Democrats chose to vote against the resolution Wednesday on largely procedural grounds. Rules Committee ranking member Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) and witness House Budget Committee ranking member Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) attacked the resolution as a political ploy lacking in substance since it has no dollar figures in it.
“It’s a very simple question: Where’s the number?” Van Hollen asked, adding that the resolution provides the “false illusion” of cutting spending without containing specifics.