House Republicans release first specific spending cut proposals
February 9th, 2011
12:04 PM ET
4 years ago

House Republicans release first specific spending cut proposals

Washington (CNN) –After months of being vague on exactly what federal programs they would slash in their quest to cut spending, House Republicans Wednesday released a list of some 70 specific cuts.

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers is putting a wide range of agencies and programs on the chopping block, from environmental and energy spending, to job training and longtime GOP targets, like the arts.

"Make no mistake, these cuts are not low-hanging fruit. These cuts are real and will impact every District across the country – including my own," said Rogers in a statement.

The cuts will be part of the spending bill the House plans to vote on next week to keep the government running through the rest of this year. The current spending bill expires March 4th.

Some of the highlights on the GOP spending cut list: EPA , $1.6 billion; Job Training Programs, $2 billion; Community Health Centers, $1.3 billion; High Speed Rail, $1 billion; Family Planning, $327 million; National Institutes of Health, $1 billion; NASA, $374 million; IRS, $593 million.

A list of the proposed cuts can be found on the House Appropriations Committee Website.

A spokeswoman for Rogers tells CNN that this is intended to be "illustrative" of the full list of spending cuts they plan to unveil Thursday. That will include the outright elimination of some 60 federal programs.

Last week House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, announced cuts he is recommending for the rest of the year that would add up to $35 billion when compared with spending levels currently funding the
government. Ryan's proposed cuts would be $58 billion compared with spending recommended by President Obama for 2011.

Either way the cuts will fall far short of the $100 billion in cuts this year that House Republicans vowed in their so-called Pledge to America.

Conservative Republicans in both the House and the Senate have been pressuring House GOP leaders to keep that promise. House conservatives hope to offer amendments during debate next week for additional spending cuts.

Asked whether he would support these deeper cuts House Speaker John Boehner deflected the question, saying, "Let's let the House make that decision. It's not about my decision. It's not about anybody's else's decision,"

Boehner added, "All Members – Democrats and Republicans ought to have the chance to involve themselves in the process of legislating and let all members represent all Americans to develop how much cutting the American people really want."

One of the conservatives proposing more cuts, House Republican Jeff Flake who just joined the Appropriations Committee, opposed the overall levels set by the committee and said he plans to offer amendments to push for the full $100 billion that GOP leaders proposed to cut.

"We've got to get to $100 billion or we're not serious," Flake told reporters after the Appropriations committee meeting on Tuesday.

But a senior House GOP aide tells CNN they have looked into the possibility of slashing an additional $43 billion in spending, and determined it would likely mean "cutting salaries and expenses for federal agencies, which means people."

While this GOP aide said that the cuts they are already proposing will no doubt mean job losses, the goal is to "minimize" that and cutting tens of billions more "would mean taking away government jobs and putting them on unemployment rolls."

The GOP aide was speaking on condition of anonymity in order to talk freely about internal Republican deliberations.


Filed under: Congress • House Republicans
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. obama victim

    good start...but to fix the deficiet, need a lot more

    February 9, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  2. Mark

    What is it with you people?!? Eduication costs have doubled and quality cut in half. If you think the govt is the answer, you obviously don't think you can do it on your own. Grow-up, man-up. There's no more money! Get off welfare, get a job, or start a company.

    February 9, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

    1. Cut military spending, following the recommendations of the military itself.

    2. Raise taxes on the wealthy to the level under Reagan: 39% (It's the least the wealthy can do to help the country that gave them the opportunity to make their money in the first place.)

    3. Raise the income cap on FICA earnings from the current $106,000 to $250,000.

    4. Open up the Swiss bank accounts and make the American depositors pay their owed taxes.

    5. Ditto for all the American corporations who keep their earnings off shore.

    6. Stop subsidizing the oil companies; they've got record profits, so obviously they don't need our help.

    7. Invest in material and workforce infrastructure in the United States – get our country making things and working again!

    February 9, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  4. Rex Raptor

    Wow. I'm surprised they don't just straight up round up poor people and have them put down.

    February 9, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    How is the Department of Education bloated? Are you referring to No Child Left Behind, which burdens teachers and schools with paperwork and wasn't thought out before it was implemented?

    Go live in a country that doesn't offer free public education and then get back to me on that ...

    February 9, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  6. ReallY!!?

    Good start. Cuts to welfare and entitlement shoud be included. Watch out APARTHEID is coming to America!! All the freebies are gone now. We is gone have to work for it now!!! Where is the love right?LOL!!!

    February 9, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. If you read it in an email it is probably not true.

    How about cutting all the money the repubs like to give to the big oil companies.

    February 9, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  8. cancho

    These people are just not aware of the impact to this country when they talk about NPR and any other public broadcasting. These entities are important tools of communication. Losing either, or cutting their budgets would be truly sad. Originally, public broadcasting was mandated so that new media, like tv, would have to respond to the public. Without the arts and public broadcasting we will see that "vast wasteland" that was feared long ago come to life for real. What a drag!

    February 9, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  9. ThinkAgain

    @Glenn Koons: " ...but if voters actually pay attention, they will see the Dems have no clue to economic stability."

    Check the historical record and you'll see that the Democratic policies of FDR ushered in an unprecedented 40-year economic expansion. Clinton left a budget surplus ... Reagan and both Bushes created huge deficits ...

    Republicans don't know JACK about responsible fiscal policy, because they all believe in tinkle-down, voodoo economics.

    BTW, foreign aid accounts for less than 1% of our annual budget. You want to cut wasteful spending? Start with redundant military programs.

    February 9, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. Mark

    Government is not the answer. Obama took 2 years, spent 4 trillion in excess, won't admit he failed. Of course he failed- try reading Econ 1. Less regulation, less red tape! I run a company, and WON'T HIRE because of the REGS! You screaming bleeding-hearts want more taxes, more unemployment, and more freebies to everyone. Well, you first. Donate YOUR money the the govt before you tell me to donate mine. Put up or Shut Up.

    February 9, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  11. Marcus

    Glenn Koons – 'cut out the heart of EPA which is ruining free enterprise'... Are you seriously that dumb? BP disregarded EPA's regulations and EPA did not have (thanks BUSH!!! – not-) enough manpower to properly check if its regulations were being observed and what we got?
    YOU (and all other GOPers) bashing the POTUS 24/7 for the oil spill on the gulf.
    The spill is over for months now, but the areas it damaged will take even years to be back to what they were before. Because of that people lost their homes and/or jobs... and you want that the agency whose job is to prevent that to happen (again) have its power diminished?
    Are you serious?

    February 9, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  12. ReallY!!?

    ThinkAgain
    Stupidity like that is why we have the elected officials we have like Obama. Really? US is going to invade Switzerland, open up their bank accts and get their owed taxes? Not to mention invade China & India to get Corporations that do businesses overseas?? LOL! Wow! U should follow your name and eat a bit piece of shut your pie hole!!!

    OH yeah lets tax the job creators more and kill what little growth we are seeing. Same koolaid rhetoric fr Obama during campaign -lot easier said than done when u just got a schlacking because of stupid things like that.

    February 9, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  13. jim

    What would you expect? This says it all ....

    From CNN Ticker ...

    GOP knocks Democratic proposal to cut oil company tax breaks
    By: CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett

    Washington (CNN) – Senate Democrats faced criticism Tuesday for urging House Republicans to cut "taxpayer-funded handouts to big oil companies" less than a week after several Democrats joined Republicans to defeat a Senate amendment that would have made similar cuts.

    "Errr, this is a little embarrassing," said Michael Steel, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in an e-mail blasted to Capitol Hill reporters.

    Steel blamed Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, who leads the message operation for Senate Democrats, for the apparent oversight.

    Schumer and other Democrats, including the other three top Democratic leaders, sent a letter to Boehner Tuesday suggesting House Republicans do away with tax breaks for oil companies as part of the Republicans' ongoing effort to scrub wasteful spending and cut the deficit.

    "We are concerned that some of the cuts you may propose could undermine future growth just as our economy is beginning to recover," said the Democrats' letter. "Instead, we urge you to consider ending a number of tax loopholes and other subsidies that benefit big oil and gas companies."

    However, six politically centrist Senate Democrats voted against paring back "unjustified tax expenditures related to oil and gas production by large oil companies," in the words of amendment sponsor Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, when he proposed it last week to cover the cost of repealing part of the health care reform law.

    Republicans argued a repeal of the subsides would amount to a tax hike on the oil companies.

    "So Sen. Schumer is suggesting that the Republican House should pass job-destroying tax hikes that even the Democrat-controlled Senate doesn't support?" Steel asked.

    "We understand Sen. Schumer has sent a letter over to Republicans today, indicating the need to cut spending," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell confidently told a bank of television cameras in the Capitol. "We don't really believe you cut spending by raising taxes."

    A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid issued a statement late Tuesday accusing Republicans of defending "government giveaways to their buddies at big oil companies making billions in profits" and asked why Republicans would take cuts in subsidies to oil companies off the table. The statement didn't mention the six centrist Democrats who last week voted against canceling the tax breaks.

    GOP = SCREW AMERICA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 9, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. Truth of the matter

    Okay, here is the truth of the matter (both sides already know this.) Stop foreign aid. I know the world needs us. But, if you stop foreign aid the budget would be about 90% balanced. If countries want money have THEM borrow from China and pay the interest back.

    February 9, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  15. ThinkAgain

    I lived for 3 years in Central America and experienced first-hand what a third-world nation looks like – and trust me folks, we're headed that way.

    Already in the US, the top 1% owns 34.6% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) has 50.5%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 85%, leaving only 15% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers).

    In terms of financial wealth (total net worth minus the value of one's home), the top 1% of households had an even greater share: 42.7%

    And the GOP wants to coddle this top 1% even more with tax cuts and corporate subsidies. If it actually helped our country, that'd be one thing; but the reality is, the US has suffered under Republican economic policies.

    Wake up and smell the coffee, folks!

    February 9, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  16. Jamison

    A dumber, dirtier America where the corporations control us more than the Government has ever tried to. All to save less than we paid to give tax cuts to the top 1% of Americans.

    February 9, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  17. Jay

    Steal from the poor to protect the rich. Hard to believe people are so stupid they can't see an evident truth. Go to hell all of you.

    February 9, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  18. GaryD2

    Why don't we cut out all of the republican (american taliban) office holders in both houses, they haven't done anything good for the USA in over two years and won't in the next 100, look at the savings, get them off the dole in washington, get rid of their free ride in their health care. If nothing works like the republicans, cut the dead wood. The republicans have never done anything good for the USA, they are stumbling blocks and tripping hazards of the USA. Get rid of them, nothing is lost but everything will be gained.

    February 9, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  19. LeftCoastMike

    Did anyone notice they are barely cutting anything out of the Congressional budget? This is a pie in the sky proposal that will never see the light of day. Oh yeah, let's cut FDA 17% so your kids can eat poisoned food, cut DOJ 16% so criminals can clean out your bank account, cut EPA because the Bible says that global warming is a hoax, etc. But just start cutting social security and Medicare and all those old, white tea baggers who you saw the photo of here last week will scream bloody murder. Meantime, keep overpaying government contractors like Haliburton and others who are raping the teasury with false claims for payment. That's o.k. because, heck, it's private industry and they can do no wrong these days. Get real.

    February 9, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  20. ReallY!!?

    ThinkAgain
    Obviously u r the product of public education b/c u lack the intellect and understanding of how this economy works. Clinton left us a so-called stimulus b/c the Republican controlled Senate & House forced him to cut and balance the budget. So thank Newt Gingrinch for that one moron!!! OH and lets not forget that when Clinton left the country was in a recession!! Typical liberal trying to re-write history, take credit for something they never did. If they are so great at fixing this economy how come we are up to eyeballs in debt with nothing to show right now!??

    February 9, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  21. ReallY!!?

    I just love the reference to Reagan by these liberals when it suits them!! Wish all u want but Obama is no Reagan. Never can and never will be. Though he wishes and the media like CNN r trying desperately to make Obama their Reagan.

    Keep trying. No liberal could ever fit into Reagan's shoes..ever!

    February 9, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  22. T'sah from Virginia

    EPA , $1.6 billion = JOBS LOST
    Job Training Programs, $2 billion = JOBS LOST
    Community Health Centers, $1.3 billion = JOBS LOST
    High Speed Rail, $1 billion (even though President Obama just announced spending 6 Billion to CREATE JOBS) = JOBS LOST
    Family Planning, $327 million = JOBS LOST
    National Institutes of Health, $1 billion = JOBS LOST
    NASA, $374 million = JOBS LOST
    IRS, $593 million = JOBS LOST

    And the unemployment will RISE while what they CUT is a "DROP IN THE BUCKET" – They DARE not touch what really need an overhaul............Who are they fooling?

    February 9, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  23. james Miller

    If the IRS is gutted, then the "big boys" would stand less of a chance of an in depth audit that requires man hours for the IRS. --–Don`t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out.----

    February 9, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  24. jim

    To ....

    Protect and Defend Freedom of Speech in the USA &
    Fair is Fair ....

    You love the GOP. What are your thoughts on this CNN ticker story? ...

    GOP knocks Democratic proposal to cut oil company tax breaks

    Please read this and post your comments. I think we all would like to know why you think big oil should get big tax breaks in a time when the US needs money? And please don't use the "Jobs" card. We are not as ignorant as you.

    I could use a good laugh!!! Ha Ha. Maybe your girl Sarah can give you advice !!!

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

    February 9, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Cut EPA: let's let companies protect us, clean air and streams are more important than profits
    Cut Job Training Programs: rich don't need this, screw the middle class/poor.
    Cut Community Health Centers: rich don't go there, screw the middle class/poor.
    Cut High Speed Rail: rich fly on corporate jets, screw the middle class (average age of Amtrak train is over 19 yrs), if one falls apart, well that's too bad.
    Cut Family Planning: rich have health care plans, screw the poor, they die, that's less welfare paid out.
    Cut National Institutes of Health: new diseases pop up, trust the pharmas to do the right thing.
    Cut NASA: the Moon and Mars are already dead, why go there, we're still trying to kill the one we live on.
    Cut IRS: trust everyone to pay their fare share, especially corporations.
    Cut Defense: God forbid, corporations are making a ton of money off this and the rich aren't big into enlisting.

    What a great first start. Keep up the good work Republicans.

    February 9, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
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