NRCC Says Obama’s Priorities Include ‘Martian Menus,’ ‘Robotic Squirrels’ and ‘Scaring American Families’

A graphic representation of "Martian Meals" from Sen. Tom Coburn's "Wastebook." (Photo: Coburn.Senate.gov)

A graphic representation of “Martian Meals” from Sen. Tom Coburn’s “Wastebook.” (Photo: Coburn.Senate.gov)

With the $85 billion in automatic so-called “sequester” budget cuts set to take affect tomorrow, the National Republican Congressional Committee has released a series of press releases blaming the situation on President Barack Obama’s fondness for “martian menus” and “robotic squirrels.” According to the NRCC, President Obama and House Democrats are more interested in funding wasteful programs and “scaring American families” than protecting the country from the impending, drastic cuts, so they highlighted a series of initiatives, including plans to develop food for astronauts and funding for a “Robosquirrel” used to research rattlesnake behavior. Several versions of the NRCC statement were released pairing President Barack Obama with different Democratic members of Congress.

“Most Americans will never get to order off the ‘Mars Menu’ that their taxpayer dollars are funding, but instead of cutting wasteful programs like that one, President Obama and Jim Himes are allowing cuts to important programs and services,” NRCC Communications Director Andrea Bozek said in the statement targeting Connecticut Congressman Jim Himes. “Rather than trying to scare Americans, Obama and Himes should agree to responsible cuts to wasteful Washington spending.”

The sequester was designed to promote a debt reduction with the assumption Democrats and Republicans would work on a compromise to avoid the severe cuts. However, the two parties have been unable to reach an agreement on a budget plan with Democrats favoring debt reduction through tax increases and Republicans pushing to cut spending on government programs. The NRCC statement was meant to highlight wasteful programs and used examples taken from Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn’s “Wastebook 2012,” which lists allegedly “outdated and outlandish projects” financed by the government.

One of the versions of the NRCC statement focused on New York Congressman Steve Israel. The title was, “Obama and Israel Agree: Protect Martian Menus and Robotic Squirrels While Scaring American Families With Threat of Cuts.” We certainly never thought we’d see an email from a Republican organization containing the phrase “Obama and Israel Agree” in any capacity.

Read the full version of the NRCC statement below.

“Obama and Israel Agree:

Protect Martian Menus and Robotic Squirrels While Scaring American Families With Threat of Cuts

Billions of Dollars Allocated for Wasteful Programs

WASHINGTON – A total of $325,000 to fund research on robotic squirrels. Another $99,000 for taxpayer-funded vodka, whiskey and gin. Nearly $1 million for NASA to develop a “Mars Menu.”

With President Obama’s $85 billion sequester set to take effect, those are just a few of the programs Obama and Steve Israel are so committed to protecting that they are willing to gut important services instead.

Just this week, President Obama spoke about the need to prioritize and make smart decisions – and now Obama and Israel have shown American families that their priority is protecting wasteful Washington spending.

“Most Americans will never get to order off the ‘Mars Menu’ that their taxpayer dollars are funding, but instead of cutting wasteful programs like that one, President Obama and Steve Israel are allowing cuts to important programs and services,” said NRCC Communications Director Andrea Bozek. “Rather than trying to scare Americans, Obama and Israel should agree to responsible cuts to wasteful Washington spending.”

President Obama, In Newport News, Virginia, Tuesday Said We Needed To Prioritize Our Spending Choice And Make Smart Decisions. “You step back and you say, what is it that’s important — our child’s education, making sure they’re healthy, making sure we can get to the job, keeping our house repaired? And then you say, here are the things that aren’t so important and you cut those out. You prioritize, and you make smart decisions. Well, we should be doing the same thing.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks, Newport News, VA, 2/26/13)

Federal Officials Have Freed Hundreds Of Illegal Immigrants In Several States Due To Obama’s Sequester. “Several hundred illegal immigrants have been released from detention centers in Georgia and other states, federal officials confirmed Tuesday. They said the releases were made to cut costs in advance of automatic spending cuts that are scheduled to take effect Friday.” (Jeremy Redmon, “Feds Free Illegal Immigrants In Georgia, Other States,” The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, 2/26/13)

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano Will Furlough 5,000 Border Patrol Agents. “Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano warned Monday that her agency would be forced to furlough 5,000 border control agents under mandatory spending cuts, likely allowing more illegal immigrants into the country and potentially compromising national security.” (David Nakamura, “Napolitano Warns That Sequester Would Affect Border Security,” The Washington Post, 2/25/13)

TSA Agents Would Also Be Furloughed. “There could also be longer security lines at airports because of anticipated furloughs of Transportation Security Administration workers. In addition, deplaning from international flights could be slower because Customs and Border Protection agents are expected to work fewer hours.” (Matthew Wald, “Federal Spending Cuts Threaten Delays In Air Travel,” The New York Times, 2/21/13)

Obama’s Sequester Will Cut Medicare By 2 Percent. “With the imposition of at least some of them appearing more and more likely, here’s a look, by the numbers, at Washington’s self-imposed budget austerity (aka ‘sequestration’ or the ‘sequester’) … 2% – Cuts to Medicare if sequestration takes effect.” (Amy Roberts, “By The Numbers: Automatic Spending Cuts,” CNN, 2/19/13)

Up To $902 Million Will Be Cut From Loan Guarantees To Small Business In The Sequester. “With the imposition of at least some of them appearing more and more likely, here’s a look, by the numbers, at Washington’s self-imposed budget austerity (aka ‘sequestration’ or the ‘sequester’) … Up to $902 million – Reductions in loan guarantees to small businesses if sequestration takes effect.” (Amy Roberts, “By The Numbers: Automatic Spending Cuts,” CNN, 2/19/13)

The Federal Government Awarded $99,000 To A New York Distillery. (2012 Waste Book, Office Of Senator Tom Coburn, Accessed On 2/27/13)

It Cost The Federal Government $1.6 Million To Develop A Video Game Based On A Fictional NASA Mission. (2012 Waste Book, Office Of Senator Tom Coburn, Accessed On 2/27/13)

The Federal Government Spent $947,000 On Researching Food To Serve On Mars. (2012 Waste Book, Office Of Senator Tom Coburn, Accessed On 2/27/13)

$697,177 Was Used To Develop A Musical On Climate Change And Biodiversity. (2012 Waste Book, Office Of Senator Tom Coburn, Accessed On 2/27/13)

The Federal Government Spent $325,000 To Develop A Robotic Squirrel. (2012 Waste Book, Office Of Senator Tom Coburn, Accessed On 2/27/13)”