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.