Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Hurricane Relief and Spending Management: Can GOP Kill Two Birds with One Stone?

Homestate Representative Jim McCrery (R-LA) announced that the House will try another iteration on tax relief for Katrina and Rita shortly after the Columbus Day recess. Among measures under consideration are tax credits, tax-exempt bonds, energy credits and something similar to the GO enterprise zone proposed by the Bush administration. At about the same time, House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) released a four-point plan to reign in Federal spending. Among the components are an spending offset to hurricane relief, added across-the-board cuts in discretionary spending, recissions to cover hurricane rebuilding and deletions of certain programs deemed wasteful by the House of Representatives.

After an unimpressive start, it looks like leading GOP Congressmen and Congresswomen are at least to some degree realizing that a major part of their base takes Federal spending very seriously. Whether they have enough clout to convince GOP moderates and liberal Democrats to rein in spending ways (most moderate Democrats actually have been fairly restrained in recent years) in both the House and Senate is yet another question.


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