Accusing congressional Republicans, specifically fiscal hawks and their $2.5 trillion plan for spending cuts, of using "a meat ax" approach, Senate Democratic leaders said Wednesday that the plan would leave one million Americans out of work and the nation less safe, with some 4,000 FBI agents off the streets. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., called the proposed cuts "disconcerting" and said, "They want to have a fire sale."
Neither Murray nor the Senate's number two Democrat, Dick Durbin, could offer any detail on what they would do to bring down the deficit or even a goal for spending reductions. Durbin did say he is sitting down with his fellow fiscal commission members, Senators Tom Coburn, R-Okla., Mike Crapo, R-Wyo., and Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., this week to try to chart a bipartisan path forward.
Durbin accused conservatives of viewing the budget "like a piñata" saying, "they put on blindfold and swing, and no matter what you hit is wasteful."
One proposal Durbin did not seem to happy with was President Obama's proposed five-year spending freeze, which his closest Senate ally called "painful." Durbin said the Democratic caucus was working to "translate" to see what it would mean for their constituents.