In the eyes of the Republicans it seems no matter what Obama does, even if it is something they themselves propose, it will not be accepted as good enough.
In the latest clash over budgets and spending limits, the White House released new guidelines which would limit spending at conferences to a maximum of $500,000, which quickly brought a resounding condemnation from Republican National Committee Spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski:
“At $500,000 per conference, ‘Debt King’ Obama is setting such a strict spending limit that next year’s GSA conference will be forced to decide: mind reader or magician, not both.”
The only problem with Kukowski’s witty remark is that the spending cap guideline proposed by Obama is actually the exact same figure proposed in two pieces of legislation brought last month by Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and the House Oversight Chairman Representative Darrell Issa of California.
Deflecting the criticism Kukowski received for making fun of the very number which her fellow Republicans were proposing, she responded by saying that the Coburn and Issa legislation “has more teeth” than the White House guidelines. Kukowski added that the legislation also contains stricter reporting requirements; the legislation mandates that agencies hosting conferences must disclose conference spending on a quarterly basis, instead of annually which is the present requirement.
“A bill has the force of law and can establish a hard cap,” Kukowski said. “An OMB memo is guidance issued to agencies and should set better targets than what they are doing. This is the same song and dance from an administration that likes to pride itself on being transparent and tough on spending when the opposite is true.”