Spending fears threaten Dem agenda

June 8, 2010 06:08

At a closed-door meeting with a small group of House Democrats late last month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi heard gripes from members not happy about having to vote on a big spending measure at a time when many voters think government growth and deficits are out of control.


Nothing new there. Pelosi’s been hearing this type of message from the noisy caucus of moderate Blue Dog Democrats for a year and a half.

But this time was different: The malcontents were freshmen, many of whom have enthusiastically backed President Barack Obama’s agenda most of the way but now are choking on its cost.

Some of the first-term lawmakers said the dollar figure on a nearly $200 billion spending and tax cuts package was too big for them, even if some of the package was paid for with revenue offsets, according to senior party aides.

“I’m just at a point where I don’t want to see any more unpaid spending,” Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), a freshman from a previously Republican district, told POLITICO the day of that meeting. He said concern about spending is “fairly common” in the 2008 group of freshman House Democrats because they are “a little more inclined to keep an ear to the ground.”


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