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Power Breakfast: Congress Talks Cuts

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The deal that averted a government shutdown will cut deeply from a wide swath of programs. Virginia Democrat Bobby Scott says he's still reviewing details. And while he isn't saying yet how he'll vote, he expresses some reservations about the plan.

"You have to have a vision for America," he says. "And if it includes fewer clean water projects, fewer FBI agents, fewer food inspections, fewer investments in our education and things like that -- in order to fund tax cuts for millionaires and multi-millionaires -- that's just not my vision."

Freshman Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) plans to vote "yes." He says the first goal was to shift the conversation from 'controlling' spending to cutting it, and that much has occurred.

"And so really, we wanted to get to where we're talking about serious money," he says.

Not that 38.5 billion dollars in cuts aren't serious, he adds - but they'll be dwarfed by the fight over next year's budget.

Some of this year's cuts do hit close to home for DesJarlais. For Tennessee, which has one the worst methamphetamine problems in the country, "there are no funds available right now for meth clean up," DesJarlais points out. "Like everyone else they just kind of flipped that switch. It is important that we find a way to control that problem, especially in Tennessee's 4th district."

Another Tennessee Democrat, Steve Cohen, says he may vote against the compromise. Too one-sided, says Cohen.

"There are cuts to education. There are cuts to health care. And these concern me. I want to see shared sacrifice," he says. "I think not only should there not be cuts to the people who are at the bottom, but there ought to be taxes on millionaires."

The House will vote first on the budget deal this week; then it's on to the Senate.


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