GOP leader stands by promise of $100 billion in cuts

Katie Falkenberg/Landov
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., in an exclusive interview with National Journal, said Republicans are not backing away from their commitment to cut non-defense discretionary spending -- despite allegations that it already has -- and predicted next week's vote on repealing the health care law will reveal Democratic "bleeding" as moderate Democrats side with the GOP.

"We have committed in the Pledge to America and we have continued to commit that we are going to be bringing discretionary non-defense spending down to '08 levels. I am looking to make sure we do that in an expeditious manner. So there's no wavering on that. There's going to be some hard work involved to make sure we get there," Cantor said. "There is a real pining on the part of the public to make sure that we reduce the reach of this government, which starts with reducing government spending."

It is clear, however, that House Republicans will not meet the target of $100 billion in first-year spending cuts contained in the Pledge. That $100 billion figure was the difference between President Obama's 2011 spending request and the 2008 non-defense discretionary spending approved under President Bush. Since the Democratically controlled 111th Congress never passed a budget or any of its appropriations bills, the '11 Obama request never became law. Congress is now operating under a continuing resolution that sets spending at 2010 levels until March 4th.

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