Virginia Republican Governor Bob McDonnell is in Washington trying to protect the state from federal budget cuts while also calling for deep spending cuts.
Proposals are floating around Congress to cut funding for the Metro system in northern Virginia and other transportation projects throughout the state.
Governor McDonnell says the federal government needs to cut spending…just not in those areas. “In strapped budget times when infrastructure needs far exceed the resources that the states have, we certainly don’t want to see those cuts.”
McDonnell says while defense and infrastructure must be maintained, the president ought to lay out a vision for the nation that includes spending cuts in other areas and entitlement reforms. “I realize that we’re broke. I don’t know how else to say it. We’re $15 trillion in debt; in another month we’re going to be $16 trillion in debt.”
Virginia Democrats have been asking McDonnell to oppose the House Republican’s highway bill because they say it would mean the state would lose more than $360 million in transportation funding.
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is the head of the Democratic Governor’s Association. He says McDonnell and other Republicans ought to push back against the far right wing of their party.
“The extreme of the Republican Party has kind of taken over – it’s now steering. The moderates in the Republican Party are silent and don’t speak up, including some of the more moderate Republican governors here who don’t speak up and push back against it,” said O’Malley.
The governors have been in D-C through the weekend for the National Governors Association winter meeting.