Klobuchar, Franken differ on Obama spending freeze

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Minnesota senators are split over President Obama’s plans for a three-year freeze on non-security, discretionary federal spending, which the president plans to call for in his first State of the Union address Wednesday evening.

Obama’s plan is expected to save $250 billion over the next 10 years, though it won’t touch entitlement or defense spending — two of the biggest deficit drivers in the federal budget. Included in that would be things like transportation funding, state aid and money for social services, three key drivers of the 2009 stimulus bill Obama championed. Details of Obama’s plan have yet to be divulged, though it’s expected to be an aggregate freeze — meaning some programs may get more money, some might get less but it should all average out to zero.

Klobuchar, asked by a reporter in a morning press conference about Obama’s spending freeze plans, said she was “supportive of this.”

Franken was more skeptical. While he supports “a top-to-bottom review of all spending” — and has voted against costly defense programs that many in Congress like but the Defense Department says they don’t need — he said in an interview that he’s “worried” about cutting off federal spending before the economy has fully recovered.

“I’m sure it tests well in a focus group, but I think people have to understand we’re in a recession,” Franken said of the spending freeze, noting that the need for social services is far greater during an economic downturn. “We can’t stimulate the economy and unstimulate the economy at the same time.”

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Rebecca Hoover on 01/30/2010 - 07:31 pm.

    Amy Klobuchar loves, loves, loves Joe Lieberman. Amy must have asked Joe Lieberman for permission to take her position. While Franken tries to think about what Minnesotans actually need, Klobuchar smooches up to Joe Liberman or her rich lobbyist friends.

    It’s time for Amy to go. Let’s hope in 2012 we are free this pathetic serpent. She sold us out on health care and now seems determined to finish the kill.

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