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"Operation Offset"

At a press conference today, members of the House Republican Study Committee (RSC) called for budget offsets to pay for the Hurricane Katrina relief and reconstruction effort. Called "Operation Offset," RSC members unveiled "a list of budget offsets (requires Adobe) to find savings in the budget so that the reconstruction costs aren't passed on to our nation's children and grandchildren in the form of an enormous debt burden." The list contains such tough choices as delaying the Medicare prescription drug bill, repealing so-called earmarks in the recently passed highway bill known as TEA-LU, and updating the formula used for federal pensions. Last Friday, the Wall Street Journal (requires Adobe) reported that "the Republican party's "conservative wing, led yesterday by Oklahoma's Tom Coburn in the Senate and Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana in the House, is calling for offsetting "sacrifices" in federal spending. And they're backed by a growing chorus of conservative activists, columnists and bloggers."

Hat tip to two bloggers: the National Taxpayers Union's Government Bytes and the Club for Growth whose bloggers were hopeful that "Operation Offset" would begin bringing fiscal sanity to the federal budget picture. Let's hope so! If RSC members need more "offsets," one New Mexico resident told the committee, "Give us a quiet room, copies of the spending bills, a box of red pencils, and watch what happens."