House Republicans unveil dramatic spending cuts
February 11th, 2011
11:25 PM ET
3 years ago

House Republicans unveil dramatic spending cuts

Washington (CNN) – House Republicans unveiled a sweeping spending bill Friday evening that slashes hundreds of programs and agencies across the government – from education, to the environment to cops on the beat – setting up a showdown with Senate Democrats.

“The legislation includes the largest reduction in discretionary spending in the history of our nation – over five times larger than any other discretionary cut package ever considered by the House,” said House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers, R-KY, in a statement.

Read the full list of proposed cuts here.

Facing rebellion from conservatives – especially newly elected freshmen – House GOP leaders added $26 billion spending cuts from their planned proposal in order to fulfill a campaign promise to cut $100 billion in spending this year

The total spending cuts add up to $60 billion when compared to spending levels now funding the government. But it meets the GOP pledge to cut $100 billion in federal spending compared to what President Obama proposed for government programs for this fiscal year, which was never enacted.

Based on the President's budget for this year, $81 billion would be cut from non-security programs, and $19 billion from security related programs, all compared with the president’s budget proposal for 2011.

“These cuts go far and wide, and will affect every community in the nation. 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,” said Rogers.

The Republican legislation calls for over 100 federal programs to be outright eliminated, including scholarships, family planning, school counseling, Teach for America, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, AmeriCorps, and the COPS hiring program.

The Department of Agriculture’s budget would see a 22% reduction compared with current spending levels: $88 million in cuts for Food Safety and Inspection; a $747 million cut in nutrition programs for women and children; a $241 million cut at the FDA.

Rep. Norm Dicks, D-WA, issued a statement saying these cuts will result in “furloughing the federal inspectors in slaughter and processing plants” because they would have to shut down for six to nine weeks.

The Labor Health and Human Services Budget would also face a 22% spending decrease: $1.3 billion in cuts for job training grants; a $1.1 billion cut to the Head Start education program; and $305 million in community service block grants.

The Department of Interior’s Budget is slashed by 14%. The biggest cuts here are aimed at the EPA – $3 billion – on everything from research on global warming, to vehicle fuel standards certification – amounting to 30% of its budget.

The Transportation and Housing Budgets would lose 24% of overall funding: $2.5 billion cut to high speed rail; over $650 million at the FAA, and well over $1 billion for public housing.

The measure also cuts $122 million from the White House budget, and prohibits funding for the so-called Health Care Czar and Climate Change Czar.

House Republicans will bring the spending bill that includes these cuts to the House floor for a vote next week.

The current spending bill keeping the government running expires on March 4th.

Many Republicans, especially freshmen in the House elected on slashing government spending, say they know many of these cuts will be tough to swallow, but call it imperative to getting the country’s fiscal house in order.

“If we don’t do something our kids and our grandkids are screwed,” freshmen Rep. Joe Walsh, R-IL, told CNN

“This is a moral issue acknowledging that there may be some very worthy programs that are going to get hurt, but we all have to suck it up,” he said.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi called the Republican plan “irresponsible,” saying it “threatens jobs and economic growth, hampers our global competitiveness and harms the people hurting most: working families and the middle class.”

Many Republicans said they still hoped to try to cut more as the House debates the spending measure this coming week.

Democrats warn that deep spending cuts in the House will make it harder to negotiate with the Senate, led by Democrats.

"We are willing to meet the Republicans in the middle on cutting spending but they keep lurching to the right," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY.


Filed under: Budget • House Republicans
soundoff (323 Responses)
  1. Indy

    And where are the jobs you promised so you could get back in the house ?

    February 12, 2011 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  2. Emma Josephson

    I assume Congressional Republicans will also cut their own salaries by 20% and give up their health insurance.

    February 12, 2011 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  3. Lisa LIsa

    Excuse me, but why is it everyone seems to be dancing around the very thing to get people to work...which is..FORCE THE CORPORATIONS THAT TOOK THE JOBS TO OTHER COUNTRIES BACK TO AMERICA! I get that some cuts need to be made wiithin govt, but look at some of what they are cutting? HEAD START? Really?? And they expect kids to be our future leaders without education?? How convenient that they want to cut those watchdog agencies that oversee our drugs and food chains so that the big corps can continue to poison and taint foods and make BILLIONS off of drugs that are harmful. The Repubs say that the are conservative, meaning family lives should matter, but thats not whats on the table here...its everything that protects families. I LOATHE the Republican Party. All they like is war and big money..thats it. Its because of the REPUBS that we are in this mess with wars that have costed us the skins off our childrens back. JERKS

    February 12, 2011 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  4. Bluebird1

    Where are the budget cuts for Defense and/or Homeland Security? What are the budget cuts for these 2 departments? HS has this huge extremely costly (in the $$BB) underground computer system that's supposed to keep Americans safe, however the last couple of sure threats (Times Square and in Washington for instance) were foiled NOT by this costly computer system, but by alert citizens. Saw this on FrontLine. Do we really need 130 millitary bases around the world? Where are they? Why are they there? National Security? Protecting a tyrannt in the name of our best material interests?
    The cuts mentioned the article will further divide the rich ,basically delete middle class and add millions to the poor with no safety net.

    February 12, 2011 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  5. Mike

    Yeah, who need food inspectors anyway? We can trust private industry to police themselves. We can trust wolves to guard the hen house...

    February 12, 2011 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  6. Mark Stephenson

    Anything to maintain the unwarranted tax cuts for the top 1 percent. So this is what the Republican family values fakes do when they are not posing nude on facebook or having affairs with lobbyists. If I used the word to describe that these people are I would be banned from CNN. So just imagine it. #############! All of them.

    February 12, 2011 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  7. sarah

    It's a start.

    February 12, 2011 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  8. Mamabadboy

    ...and so my fellow rePUGSlicans ... we must cut EVERYTHING that benefits the lower middle class...remember....poverty does not make an economy run...by doing this, unemployment will go up giving us a GOOD reason to blame Sir. Obama for the high unemployment.....hmmmmmmmmmm

    February 12, 2011 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  9. junior

    its time to do what egypt as done kick everyone of or goverment officals out of office an start now before it to late

    February 12, 2011 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  10. starbeast

    Missed some obvious cuts due to lobbyist pressure (as seen on news/press conference:
    1) stop funding 2nd (unwanted!) F-35 engine by GE - 3.5 billion
    2) STOP funding ethanol subsidy (also causing food/corn price increases) -- 20 billion?
    3) Eliminate subsidy to Oil Companies (with record profits) -- 4 billion
    -
    Congress MUST DO WHAT IS RIGHT FOR THE COUNTRY!!!! ...NOT what is good for the lobbyists!!!!
    -

    February 12, 2011 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  11. JRYAN

    All this is is a back door process to eliminate programs that the Republicans could not cut via past legislation. It is loaded with programs that they have haven't been able to cut in the past 15-20 years so they will do it by cutting funding. I have a better way, make the corporations pay their fair share of taxes and cut the Congress members perks and we would be financially sound. Also give the middle class a tax cut like the one just extended for the wealthy.

    THIS IS WAR ON THE MIDDLE CLASS AND AMERICA DOESN'T REALIZE IT YET.The only kids and grandkids that will be screwed are the lower and middle class kids and grandkids. The wealthy kids and grandkids are already taken care of by their parents and grandparents via stocks bonds, and trusts.
    Wake up America.

    February 12, 2011 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  12. Craiga

    The EPA is our only defense against ignorance. Like the Fed Reserve it is an agency filled with people who have a very good understanding of the problems they have a little control over.

    Politicians and citizens with little to no arithmetic skills are trying to remove the only agencies that can save us from our own ignorance. Do demand as much transparency, explanation, and oversight as you want from EPA and Fed, but history shows very clearly they are always DECADES ahead of public and political understanding of complex problems. Without them we really have to worry about our grandchildren's future.

    Read up on affect of Fed currency decisions and great depression (enormous positive impact, ask economists not cynics or politicians). How many times a year do you hear about thousands dying from food issues? Hardly ever, thank you FDA. It would have taken the public generations to understand the problem of CFCs (remember ozone issue?), DDT, lead paint, lead in gasoline, ect ect... Same history repeating itself for climate change, the public (politicians included) just can't grasp a complex issue in less then two or three generations. This is where special agencies come in.

    February 12, 2011 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  13. JRYAN

    If you "moderate" my comment, DO NOT POST IT>

    February 12, 2011 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  14. R. Sparks

    No. 1 – I'm very happy to see someone get tough on government spending as GW was never able to do it. No. 2 – We can start by ending these 2 miserable wars immediately. We can declare victory, march out, and start saving a billion $$$ a month. No. 3 – We can start extracting a free tanker of oil a week out of Iraq until our costs there are covered.

    February 12, 2011 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  15. fran

    Why don't they start by cutting their own salaries? If they want to make drastic cuts across the board, start with them first. I guess cutting their salary is out of the question. How about having them to pay for health care out of their own pockets instead of ours!!

    February 12, 2011 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  16. Dave

    We want all these programs eliminated completely --- Education Agriculture, Bureau of land management, National Endowment for the Arts, Endowment for the humanities, DOT, Home land security, ATF, DEA, FDA.

    Closing these useless as tits on boar hog Dept's. would save an additional 337 Billion dollars. Lets get this done NOW.

    Close down Welfare, Section 8 housing and the medical that goes with it and you save another 312 Billion Dollars.

    Now we are getting some where. 497 Billion dollars of saving and we wont miss one of those useless Dept's.

    For all those that say we cant cut welfare I say YES we can and will. All of those that are on Welfare need to back home to mom and dad they raised they just ain't done doing yet.

    February 12, 2011 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  17. Rationalist

    How about we decrease spending and support our troops at the same time? How patriotic could that be? I am talking of course about getting our troops out of these endless stalemates overseas. Which would save a ton of money, and a lot of lives, because too much of both have been lost in these wars.

    February 12, 2011 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  18. tiredofthis

    Any spending cuts that don't address Medicare and social security aren't really addressing the problem. I'm tired of seeing politicians dance around social security benefits like it's a sacred cow.

    February 12, 2011 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  19. Robert

    personally i find cutting many of these programs at all discusting. No where in the republicans proposal is there cuts to military spending or efforts to tackle SS or medicaid/care- the three major gobbler of the budget- instead they want to cut the few things that make the government impact our lives for the better. The FDA, EPA, and Education are some of the best things our government does to protect us(weather we like them or not). Such organizations protect us from from corporate abuse, and help all of us have the opportunity to be educated and competitive. Almost all these cuts will directly affect those who need it most- those in or near poverty, while all these tax cuts- only people with money can use. I hope such a proposal dies in the senate. Dies much the same way as that Joke of a health care repeal.

    February 12, 2011 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  20. sonia

    Hmmm not a mention of the GOP giving their big business (up to $300 000 a pop) lobbyest checks away or getting rid of earmarks. Not a mention is getting off oil dependency or taxing the big oil, no mention of controlling high costs of health care....surprised? Lobbyest checks are coming in from them, that's why. They are going to cut education and family planning....that's what we need, more kids in foster care with less education. These are the fools that were voted in. Oh, did I mention them giving themselves tax breaks? Sooooooooo discouraging.

    February 12, 2011 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  21. Ain't life strange?

    You know what? Screw these damn republicans. Instead of cutting spending on programs that will help our citizens through theses troubled times and provide services that include food safety and health issues, why not go after the coutry you invaded on your lies of WMD and get them to repay you for the war that was supposed to be paid with by their oil revenue? Or, did you ass wipes figure out a way to pocket that too?

    February 12, 2011 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  22. Alice Bowie

    scholarships, family planning, school counseling, Teach for America, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, AmeriCorps, and the COPS hiring program

    Leave it to REPUBLICANS to cut this sort of stuff and SUPPORT an $11billion dollar per MONTH War.

    February 12, 2011 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  23. reader

    Senators and House Members, First cut your salary and benefits by 50% before proposing any cut for any program

    February 12, 2011 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  24. Troy Thorpe

    The largest portion of the budget is paying interest on the debt. What they should do is declare a that they are going to half the interest payments. They will use the other half that had been going towards interest to pay down the principle. Then each year the overall payments go down freeing up more money for discrecinary spending. Not a good solution, but there aren't really any good solutions left.

    February 12, 2011 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  25. valleygirl

    Lets not get in the pickets of rich repubs tho. Lets give them a tax cut

    February 12, 2011 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
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