Sen. Dick Lugar (R., Ind.) says he opposes H.R. 1, the House Republican spending plan to cut spending by $61 billion over seven months. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill this week. From The Hill:
Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), the most senior member of the Senate Republican Conference, said Tuesday he will oppose the House-passed proposal to make drastic cuts to the federal budget.
He is the first Senate Republican to publicly state his opposition to a plan that Democrats have blasted as “reckless.”
Lugar, who is facing a Tea Party-backed challenge in the 2012 Indiana Republican primary, is taking a political risk. But he and other centrist Republicans have concerns about steep spending cuts that will eliminate funding for some federal programs in mid-year.
Lugar declined to state his reasons for opposing the bill as he entered a weekly lunch meeting with his Republican colleagues in the Lyndon Baines Johnson Room on the second floor of the Capitol.
“I’m opposed to it,” Lugar said.
Is Dick Lugar too liberal? Katrina looks into it here.
UPDATE: Lugar promptly reconsiders. He’ll vote for H.R. 1 after all. As will every Republican, apparently (emphasis mine):
Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), who faces a Tea Party-backed challenge in his 2012 primary, has withdrawn his stated opposition to House-passed spending cuts.
Lugar said Tuesday afternoon that he made a mistake when he told reporters earlier in the day that he would oppose H.R. 1, the House GOP plan to cut an additional $57 billion from the 2011 budget.
“I’m going to vote with the Republicans on the issue when H.R. 1 comes up,” Lugar said. “If it’s strictly an affirmative vote, I will be for H.R. 1 because all the Republicans will be voting for H.R. 1.”