Rogers: 'We want spending cuts'
by Elsie Hodnett
RIVERSIDE – U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers addressed residents at a Congress on Your Corner Event in Riverside before touring the St. Vincent’s St. Clair Hospital and the Col. Robert L. Howard State Veterans Home Thursday.

Rogers spoke to a large crowd that packed the Riverside Storm Shelter, leaving standing room only in the shelter and down the hallway.

“I think sequestration is going to happen next Friday,” Rogers said in answer to several questions on the issue. “I don’t think it will last long because I think we will reach a compromise.”

Rogers said President Barack Obama just got $650 billion in new revenue from taxes.

“We (Republicans) want $650 billion in cuts,” he said. “We spend $3.8 trillion but only bring in $2.2 trillion. We are spending more than $1 trillion a year than we bring in and our credit cards are maxed out. We are saying we want this president to live within his means. We want spending cuts. The President says spending is at the right amount, we are just not bringing in enough money. But we can’t continue spending this way when we are up to our eyeballs in debt.”

Rogers said a super committee was created to cut the budget by $1.2 trillion.

“If they can’t reach a compromise and work together on those cuts, then half will be cut from defense and half from discretionary spending,” he said. “The problem is under sequestration, each department must cut 9 percent from every line item.”

Rogers said many departments might be able to find a workable solution to cut 9 percent, however cutting it from each line item would severely hurt many departments.

“What I think a good solution is telling people to find where they can best cut the 9 percent, instead of across-the-board cuts,” he said. “For instance, with border control, they might find 9 percent to cut in travel or training. But if you take it out of every line item, it takes away border patrol agents too.”

Rogers said the President wants to raise taxes and beat the Republicans to retake control of the House of Representatives in the 2014 election.

“He (Obama) can’t pass any legislation he really wants because Republicans control the House,” he said.

One attendee said he feels people are scared the government is going to take over, and that the Republicans aren’t doing enough.

“The biggest surprise I’ve had in Washington is how much the mainstream media is in bed with the Democrats,” he said. “We can’t get on TV. We can get on Fox or CNN but it’s a small audience. The lion’s share watch ABC or CBS or NBC. We can get on radio and cable, but unless mainstream media lets us get on there a lot of people won’t know what we are doing.”

Rogers said Obama has also introduced numerous issues, such as gun control, to pick a fight with the Republicans and get Nancy Pelosi back in control of the House.

“There is no chance of a Second Amendment restriction getting through Congress,” he said.

One attendee said he wants the Republicans to “stay the course” and not give in so his children don’t inherit this debt.

“If we don’t right this ship, we will be the first generation to leave our children a country in worse shape than we inherited it in,” he said.

Rogers said as far as he is concerned, the President is too sympathetic to Arab views.

“We haven’t passed a budget for five years, because we put things in place that would stop things (like using drones to kill people, as one attendee suggested),” he said.

Rogers said the country has operated under continuing resolution since the first budget was passed under Obama, spending 40 percent more than the country was taking in.

“The stimulus was going to ‘fix’ that,” he said. “Then when we took the House two years later, we weren’t going to go for that. When we get past sequestration, we have the continuing resolution and then the debt ceiling.”

One attendee said Rogers should respect the President, congressmen and representatives, which could barely be heard over the “boos” of the crowd gathered.

“When you make your speeches, they are one-sided and you disrespect the Democrats,” the attendee said.

Rogers said he personally thinks the President is wrong.

“I respect the office but I don’t respect the man,” he said. “I think he has a different view of how our country should be run—more like a western European nation.”

Another attendee said he feels the elected representatives have lost the ability to compromise.

“I’ve got a large constituency saying not to cave,” Rogers replied. “We are going from one crisis to the next to the next. Come June, we will be past all this (sequestration, continuing resolution and the debt ceiling) and then deal with immigration.”

Contact Elsie Hodnett at

© 2013