Mike Needham

The completely irresponsible approach taken by the Obama-Reid-Pelosi trifecta stands in sharp contrast to that of Speaker John Boehner’s House. For most of February, various House committees put together a measure that would not only fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year, but also reduce spending by $61 billion. Not only that, but they did so in a very open and transparent manner, allowing dozens of amendments, which allowed the people’s House to set America’s spending priorities.

Of course, the House can and must do more. Many conservatives wanted to see non-security discretionary spending rolled by to pre-bailout, pre-stimulus levels, as outlined in the Pledge to America. The $61 billion in cuts -- which would decrease our deficit by 4% -- is a laudable first step after decades of runaway and (dare I say) reckless spending.

While the House spent much of February debating how much spending to cut, Mr. Reid’s Senate spent most of February considering a measure to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration. When Mr. Reid did weigh in on spending, it was merely to criticize the House's efforts. Being a demagogue is apparently easier than being a negotiator or a budget cutter.

Now, with less than five days before the government shuts down, there finally seems to be some recognition by Senate Democrats that they must enact real – not illusory – cuts because Americans did not vote in November to lock in our government’s reckless levels of spending.

Americans will learn two very important things about their government this week: 1) are Democrats, including the President, willing to make real cuts; and, 2) will Republicans stand their ground on the first round of cuts. I fear for America’s future if the answer to either question is “no.”

Mike Needham

Mike Needham is the Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Action for America, a grassroots advocacy organization dedicated to advancing legislation that promotes freedom, opportunity and prosperity for all Americans.