House Republican calls spending cuts ‘dangerous,’ votes for them anyway

HOUSE REPUBLICAN CALLS SPENDING CUTS ‘DANGEROUS,’ VOTES FOR THEM ANYWAY…. The House GOP spending plan includes plenty of controversial cuts, but it was especially interesting to see Republicans slash federal anti-terrorism funding for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The move generated one fascinating reaction that we’re likely to hear again during the 2012 elections.

The Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee said budget cuts to port and transit security that the GOP majority approved last month are “wrong” and “dangerous.”

“I think that a number of the cuts Republicans have made in the continuing resolution are wrong,” Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” They cut port security by two-thirds, they cut transit security by two-thirds.”

“We cannot afford those cuts, they are too dangerous,” King said…. King voted in favor of the seven-month spending bill that included those cuts, and he did not explain his decision to do so on Sunday.

That last sentence is quite the kicker, isn’t it? King considers the cuts “dangerous,” but he voted for them anyway.

For the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, this is quite a gift — how extreme is the Republican plan? Even other Republicans consider it “dangerous.”

Indeed, here’s a press release the DCCC sent out yesterday in a key North Carolina district: “Everyone knows that the government needs to cut spending, but Rep. Renee Ellmers and House Republicans voted to put North Carolina families at risk by dangerously slashing funding for port security and transit security. Instead of cutting their own office budgets, Ellmers voted to gut port and transit security by two-thirds which even the Republican Homeland Security Chairman says is dangerous.”

Now, I understand King’s thinking on this. He, like a lot of Republicans, voted for the brutal spending cuts last month as a package deal, with the understanding that they’d never be approved by the Senate or the White House. King isn’t the only one — several other GOP House members have already admitted being uncomfortable with some of the cuts that they already voted for, and said they hope Senate Democrats help clean up the House Republicans’ mess.

But that’s not much of a pitch come Election Day, and by voting for the spending cuts, every Republican in the House has made the DCCC’s job a whole lot easier. By calling his own party’s priorities “dangerous,” King is making the Democrats’ task easier still.