McConnell: Deficit Robo-Squirrely

Photograph by Nancy Palmieri/AP Photo

Rocky, a mechanical "robo-squirrel," at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., on the campus.

Another day, another “squirrely” Senate floor speech.

With time running out to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, the Senate is hard at work discussing Robo-squirrel.

Rhetoric on both sides of the aisle is heating up in the Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada found time yesterday to comment on the boyish head of hair that retiring Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska possesses. Today, it was Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s turn to leave his stamp on the debate.

“Government spending is completely and entirely out of control and we need to start acting like it,” The Kentucky Republican said, proceeding to list the results of a report written by Oklahoma’s Sen. Tom Coburn, detailing government waste, and pointing out examples where savings can be found to reduce the deficit.

“Get this,” McConnell said, “taxpayers also just spent $325,000 on a robotic squirrel named Robo-squirrel.”

The squirrel, designed by researchers at San Diego State University and the University of California Davis, was built with a grant from the National Science Foundation. It is used to study snake behavior.

“The president just sent us a 73-page report detailing how $60 billion in Sandy funds would be spent,” the leader said. “Don’t you think he could put together a list of spending cuts that at least, at least includes Robo-squirrel?”

“The truth is, until the president gets specific about spending cuts, nobody should trust Democrats to put a dime in new revenue towards real deficit reduction.”



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