Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) reacted to a budget deal struck between Democratic and Republican leaders late on Friday to avert a government shutdown during an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.
"On the one hand, this is the single largest year-to-year cut in the federal budget, frankly in the history of America in absolute terms," he said, adding that for the accomplishment members of congress deserve "medals." He added, however, "Relative to the size of the problem, it is not even a rounding error. In that case we probably all deserve to be tarred and feathered."
White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer detailed the spending cuts in the budget agreement on Saturday. He wrote on the White House blog:
This deal cuts spending by $78.5 billion from the President's FY 2011 Budget request -- the largest annual spending cut in our history. These are real cuts that will save taxpayers money and have a real impact. Many will be painful, and are to programs that we support, but the fiscal situation is such that we have to act.
The two sides agreed to cut $13 billion from funding for programs at the Departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services as well as over $1 billion in a cut across non-defense agencies, forcing everyone to tighten their belt. There will be reductions to housing assistance programs and some health care programs along with $8 billion in cuts to our budget for State and Foreign Operations. These significant cuts to the State Department and foreign assistance will mean we will not meet some of the ambitious goals set for the nation in the President's Budget.
"At some point, you just got to quit spending money you don't have," explained Hensarling on Sunday. "I do not want America to default on its debt. But the president is going to have to start the process of cutting up the credit cards, pure and simple."