West Virginia Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller made the debate over the nation’s budget personal Tuesday afternoon, blasting House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan for proposing trillions in cuts to the federal government.
“I’ve never see so much anger, so much unity, so much sheer sort of astonishment that any human being could actually do this,” Rockefeller told reporters outside the Senate chamber.
Ryan last week unveiled a Republican budget proposal that would cut $6.2 trillion from President Obama’s proposed fiscal year 2012 budget over the next decade, repeal the health-care law and lower taxes. The report’s author estimates it would reduce the federal deficit by $4.4 trillion.
Critics of Ryan’s plan argue that it puts the burden for deficit reduction on the poor, who rely most heavily on social programs that would face cuts under the GOP proposal. Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein, wrote Tuesday that “it is not courageous to attack the weak while supporting your party’s most inane and damaging fiscal orthodoxies,” adding that Ryan’s budget was “morally questionable.”
Citing Klein, Rockefeller ripped into Ryan.
“I can’t believe that somebody who actually goes into public service would actually do something like that,” Rockefeller said.
The House plans to vote on Ryan’s plan later this week, but Senate Democrats have vowed to strike it down.
“We are going to fight this,” Rockefeller said, pausing. “Like crazy.”