NRCC’s contradictions on spending

John Barrow

Yesterday, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) released two statements attacking Rep. John Barrow (D-GA), who has been a GOP target for the last few election cycles and has been the subject of periodic attacks since the end of the 2012. Needless to say, Barrow is on their radar in 2014.

However, after reading both of them back to back, I can’t help but be a little puzzled.

The first statement, which came in just before noon, slammed Barrow over his vote for the Budget Control Act. This bill was a result of the debt ceiling fight back in 2011 and was supposed to cut spending by $1.2 trillion at the beginning of the year. Fear of the so-called “fiscal cliff” delayed those cuts until March 1st.

The NRCC is trying to lump Barrow and Obama in the same boat. The statement called the cuts about to take place the “Barrow-Obama Sequester” and claims that “John Barrow’s continued support of Obama’s Sequester is about to hit hardworking middle class and military families in Georgia.”

Of course, it’s an inconvenient truth to point out that Barrow, a Democrat, joined 174 Republicans in voting for the sequester. Despite the fact that nearly 75% of their caucus voted for the sequester, some Republicans have been losing their minds over the defense spending cuts that are scheduled to take place. They’ve tried to substitute those cuts with non-defense discretionary spending, but have been unsuccessful in moving them through the Senate.

But a separate statement from Katie Prill, a spokeswoman at the NRCC, went out yesterday afternoon asking Barrow if he agreed with comments made by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Fox News Sunday over the weekend when absurdly claimed that “[i]t is almost a false argument to say that we have a spending problem.”

“John Barrow and his liberal Washington friends continue to drive up our nation’s debt with no care for future generations,” Prill said in the NRCC statement. “It is time for John Barrow to stand up for Georgia families instead of continuing to stand with the Spend-o-crats in Washington.”

Yeah, he totally should stand up for Georgia families and support spending cuts. Oh wait, he already did that when he voted for the sequester, which as I’ve already noted would cut $1.2 trillion over 10 years. And keep in mind that the sequester doesn’t even make deep spending cuts, it’s just slows the rate of spending growth over that budget window.

Look, I have no illusions about Barrow. The guy hasn’t been good on fiscal issues and the sequester isn’t the end of the story when it comes to spending, but this is a mixed message if I’ve ever seen one. It just once again shows that Republicans are just as unserious about cutting spending as Democrats.

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