Conservative Congressman Boasts Of Huge Spending Cuts Under Obama

AP

How far to the right has the budget debate moved in recent years?

Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), one of the most conservative members of the House, who rode in on the 2010 tea party wave, boasted that the bipartisan bill passed by the chamber on Wednesday reflects the GOP’s success at forcing huge federal spending cuts under President Barack Obama.

“The base spending levels we approved today are $100 billion lower than those in 2008,” he said in a statement, after voting for the bill. “I will say that again: when adjusted for inflation, the federal government will spend less on basic, discretionary spending this year than it did six years ago.”

“[W]e have done something that I sometimes thought might be impossible: we have changed the direction of spending,” the congressman said.

Mulvaney’s full statement on the $1.012 spending bill is below:

“I came to Washington to reduce spending and to balance the budget. Since I’ve been here I’ve been involved in a lot of other things, but those two goals continue to drive what I do and why I do it.

“I voted for the omnibus appropriations bill today. It was far from perfect. But it marks a dramatic change in Washington. The base spending levels we approved today are $100 billion lower than those in 2008. I will say that again: when adjusted for inflation, the federal government will spend less on basic, discretionary spending this year than it did six years ago.

“We have also made an important change to how Washington operates. This
bill returns us to setting a budget and then spending money according to that budget, just like any household in South Carolina. It’s been a long, long time since our federal government has done that.

“Is our government still spending too much? Yes. Is it still spending money on things it should not? Yes. But we have done something that I sometimes thought might be impossible: we have changed the direction of spending.

“When I ran for office in 2010, I told people that I wanted to roll back spending in Washington to 2008 (pre-stimulus) levels. I even put that on my flyers. Today I had the chance to do what I told people I would do if they elected me.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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