Washington (CNN) - GOP Budget Chairman Paul Ryan's committee released its official spending targets for the rest of the 2011 fiscal year, indicating Republicans plan to cut $58 billion in non-security funding, but when their overall spending target is compared to current spending levels for that same time frame, the cuts amount to $32 billion.
Either way, the proposed House Republicans' cuts fall short of the House GOP's campaign pledge to cut at least $100 billion in non-security federal spending "in the first year alone."
House Republican staffers briefed reporters Wednesday and argued that their $58 billion figure does in fact meet their $100 billion target because it represents the pro-rated amount for scaling back spending rates to 2008 pre-stimulus levels for the remaining seven months of this fiscal year. They maintain that because the Democrats did not enact a budget when they controlled the chamber last year Republicans are left to working off levels set by Democrats for the remainder of the year.
In addition to the non-security cuts, GOP aides say they anticipate cutting another $16 billion from security related spending at the Defense Department, Veterans Administration and the Department of Homeland Security, for a total of $74 billion in cuts. Chairman Paul Ryan will submit the 2011 total allocation next week at $1.055 trillion when the House returns from recess, which represents a cut of $32 billion from the $1.087 trillion full year cost of funding the government at current levels. The various appropriations committees will then divvy up how the overall cut will be felt across federal agencies.
GOP aides declined to specify where the specific cuts to meet this overall target would come from, saying that those decisions will be made by the various appropriations committees-which will begin drafting a bill to lay out which agencies will feel the budget pain the most next week.
A group of conservative House Republicans pressed Speaker Boehner last week to meet the $100 billion goal, and has pressed for even deeper cuts, pushing GOP leaders to roll back spending to 2006 levels, which they project would cut spending by $2.5 trillion over the next decade.
Congressional Democrats pounced on the release of the official numbers, highlighting that the GOP was not meeting its own targets.
"As Republicans conclude their first month in charge of Congress, they have not only failed to create jobs and strengthen the middle class, now they're breaking the very promises they made to get elected," said Jesse Ferguson of the House Democrats' campaign arm.