Even when U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt flew home to Spokane to speak at a Veterans Day ceremony Saturday, he couldn’t escape the mounting furor over the federal budget.
Standing in the second row was veteran B-25 pilot Scott Rohwer, holding a sign that read, “Clinton-Gore 96” and criticized the Republicans’ budget stance.
Rohwer claims Nethercutt and other Republicans are forcing a prolonged government shutdown that will lay off 800,000 federal workers.
“That includes people that staff (Veterans Affairs) hospitals,” claimed Rohwer, who also insisted that Republicans are out to hurt Medicare recipients.
Despite Rohwer’s claims, however, medical staff would remain on duty at veterans hospitals and clinics.
After his speech Saturday at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Spokane, Nethercutt accused Clinton of misleading the public and shirking his duties.
Nethercutt said Clinton is wrong when he says Republicans want to raise Medicare premiums, the out-of-pocket costs the elderly pay for their care.
The Spokane Republican said Clinton wants to lower the premiums, while Republicans simply want to keep them at the current 31 percent.
Nethercutt defended all the demands contained in two bills Clinton now threatens to veto, including limiting federal agencies’ ability to impose health and environmental regulations on businesses.
The demands are essential to any serious effort to balance the budget, Nethercutt said.
He also slammed Clinton for refusing to pound out differences with Republicans and instead “cavalierly” heading to the golf course, as he did Friday, a federal holiday.
He predicted much of the grand standing will turn into serious negotiations after the government halts much of its services, as expected, at midnight on Monday.
“I think it’s up to the president,” Nethercutt concluded.