House GOP releases spending plan with $100 billion in cuts
"This evening, on behalf of House Republicans, Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers [R-Ky.] introduced a continuing resolution that will reduce spending by at least $100 billion in the next seven months -- a historic effort to get our fiscal house in order and restore certainty to the economy," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said in a release.
The measure also includes no earmark funding and eliminates all previous earmark funding from fiscal 2010, saving about $8.5 billion. In addition, the bill includes language specifically barring any and all earmarks as defined by House rules. The CR also eliminates funding for programs such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Americorps.
In addition, the CR includes a provision to eliminate any unobligated stimulus funds, saving as much as $2 billion, and a prohibition on using funds for "signage" promoting stimulus-funded programs and projects.
The full House will consider the bill next week. The CR cuts every single program under the Agriculture Appropriations bill below fiscal 2010 levels, including conservation, rural development, domestic and foreign food assistance programs, and the Food and Drug Administration.
The proposal was not received warmly by House Democrats.
"Republicans are proposing an irresponsible spending bill that threatens job and economic growth, hampers our global competitiveness, and harms the people hurting most: working families and the middle class," said Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in a statement. "The Republican proposal would target critical education programs like Head Start, halt innovation and disease research, end construction projects to rebuild America, and take cops off the beat."
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, said, "It is clear from this proposal that House Republicans are committed to pursuing an ineffective approach to deficit reduction that attempts to balance the budget on the back of domestic discretionary investments, which constitute only a small percentage of overall federal spending. The priorities identified in this proposal for some of the largest cuts -- environmental protection, health care, energy, science, and law enforcement -- are essential to the current and future well-being of our economy and communities across the country."
The package provides $44.9 billion for the State and Foreign Operations budget, which is a reduction of $3.8 billion, or 8 percent, from total fiscal 2010 appropriations, and a reduction of $11.7 billion, or 21 percent, from Obama's fiscal 2011 budget request.
"The reductions made to my section of the bill are a good start," Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, who is chairwoman of the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, said in a release. "As long as I am chairwoman of the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, I will ensure that our foreign aid is not used as a stimulus bill for foreign countries. This bill is about our national security, and the funding levels reflect that."
The bill provides $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt and up to $250 million in economic assistance with the understanding that the government in Cairo will undertake significant economic and democratic reforms. In addition, the bill prohibits military assistance to Lebanon unless the secretary of State determines that it is in the national interest of the United States.
In the section covering financial services appropriations, the bill contains a bipartisan provision to prevent funding to implement the onerous 1099 health care reform provision and also prohibits funding for the so-called "Health Care Czar" and the "Climate Change Czar."
The House Appropriations Committee initially proposed a plan to cut $73.6 billion compared to Obama's fiscal 2011 request, including a $58 billion drop from Obama's nonsecurity spending request, along with a $15.6 billion reduction in security spending. The plan was cast as a down payment on a campaign pledge to reduce nonsecurity discretionary spending to fiscal 2008 levels, which is about $100 billion less than Obama's fiscal 2011 budget. Republicans sought deeper spending cuts after conservative members of the party called for the full $100 billion in cuts over the last three days.
"These cuts go far and wide, and will affect every community in the nation," Rogers said. "These were hard decisions, and I know many people will not be happy with everything we've proposed in this package. That's understandable and not unexpected, but I believe these reductions are necessary to show that we are serious about returning our nation to a sustainable financial path."
Of the $100 billion, $81 billion has been cut from nonsecurity programs, and security-related programs have been reduced by $19 billion, the Appropriations Committee said. The cuts are not across-the-board reductions but "are thoughtful, line-by-line reductions in specific programs," the committee said in a release. "These cuts were determined through careful and fair analysis of all discretionary agencies and programs -- without regard to political "sacred cows" -- and affect nearly every facet of the federal government."
A list of program cuts can be found here.