Hastings blasts budget deal, says fellow Democrats Obama and Reid should be ‘ashamed’by George Bennett | April 11th, 2011
“Obama and Harry Reid ought to be ashamed of themselves and John Boehner ought to be doubly ashamed,” Hastings said today of the agreement to cut about $39 billion over the next six months. Details are still being worked out, but Hastings said it’s already apparent that “you’re getting ready to hurt poor people. I can tell you that without knowing where the cuts are coming from.”
Hastings in early March criticized Obama for being “slow out of the box” in budget talks. He reiterated that criticism today.
“I thought Obama should have been in much earlier. Quite frankly I think Obama is (concerned) about his 2012 election and couldn’t care less,” Hastings said.
Hastings was in the minority of a 348-to-70 vote at 12:40 a.m. Saturday to fund the government for a few more days until the Obama-Reid-Boehner deal could be put into legislative language and brought to a vote this week. The “no” votes were an odd ideological mix that included conservative Rep. Connie Mack, R-Cape Coral, and tea party-backed Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., as well as liberal Reps. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, and Charles Rangel, D-N.Y.
Other members of Palm Beach County’s congressional delegation — Reps. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, Tom Rooney, R-Tequesta, and Allen West, R-Plantation — voted for the stopgap measure.
West is leaning against the final budget deal, his office said today. Deutch is awaiting final details, a spokeswoman said. Rooney expects to vote for it, his spokesman said.
In Saturday’s wee-hours vote, the government would have shut down if Hastings’ side had prevailed. If that had happened, Hastings said, negotiators would have been forced back to the table and “by Monday (today) we would be voting on a measure that wouldn’t hurt poor people.”
Hastings said he was also displeased that the deal, while sparing federal money for Planned Parenthood, restricts abortion funding by the District of Columbia government.
Hastings, who recently came out against President Obama’s approval of air strikes in Libya, says he’d like to see more defense cuts in the budget deal and an end to the Bush tax cuts for upper-income earners.