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Posted by on Mar 7, 2008 in Politics | 0 comments

“Deficit Hawk” Voinovich Wants to Amend Federal Budget Process

Senator George Voinovich (R-Ohio)Ohio Senator George Voinovich has long been known as a deficit hawk. Whether as Commissioner of Cuyahoga County, Mayor of Cleveland, or Governor of Ohio, Voinovich has a strong reputation for insisting that government ought to live within its means. In recent years, that’s made him out-of-step with Republicans in Congress and the White House who have departed from traditional conservative Republican principles to engage in “drunken sailor” spending (to borrow a phrase from a Republican running for President this year).

A ploy used in recent years to make the annual budget appear less deficit-ridden has been to put anticipated spending into extra-budgetary emergency supplemental appropriations. Voinovich wants to put a halt to this practice. According the Columbus Dispatch blog:

Sen. George V. Voinovich next week will make a move to restrict Congress’ ability to pass “emergency” spending bills that aren’t, well, in fact much of an unanticipated emergency.

Voinovich’s move comes in the wake of a Government Accountability Office report. The GAO report, released earlier this week, found that the number and cost of so-called supplemental spending bills, which are supposed to be only used when unanticipated emergency needs arise in the middle of a federal fiscal year, has risen dramatically in recent years.

Much of that is due to defense spending. Emergency supplementals, for instance, have been passed in recent years to fund the Iraq war though it would seem that much of those costs could have been anticipated. Supplemental spending bills aren’t subject to the same controls and constraints designed to avoid busting annual budgets and sending the federal deficit spiraling upward.

Voinovich is going to propose an amendment to the Senate budget bill that would tighten up the definition of just what is an emergency…

Voinovich may get himself into trouble again with the crowd that likes to call other Republicans RINOs, Republicans in Name Only, then engage in more of that drunken sailor behavior.

Read the whole thing.

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