Washington (CNN) - Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer revealed Sunday that about half the $38.5 billion in cuts agreed upon in last week’s budget negotiations came from mandatory spending areas like agriculture and highway funding.
The senior New York senator said reductions in the spending programs, known in appropriations parlance as "changes in mandatory spending" or CHIMPS, brought down spending while allowing other programs like Head Start to continue.
“That’s what allowed us to get to that number,” Schumer said Sunday on the CBS program “Face the Nation.” “The Tea Party folks wanted them all to come from the domestic discretionary. And it’s much broader than that.”
Examples of mandatory spending programs include Pell Grants, the Children's Health Insurance Program and some types of highway funding. Such programs are funded for multiple years at a time, with the spending set for the time period covered, exempting them from congressional authorization each year.
Republicans argued that reducing the spending in mandatory programs for one year does not prevent the amount from returning to its original level the following year, and therefore does not reduce the overall size and cost of government.
While some Democrats complained the administration accepted cuts aimed unduly at the poor, Schumer said the White House and Senate Democrats advocated cuts to mandatory spending programs to reduce the burden on discretionary programs.
“The cuts are across the board. Everybody gives some pain,” Schumer said. “But as for the specifics, those are going to be published Monday.”
And while the deal will likely appease many on both sides of the political aisle, Republican Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana said the cuts weren’t “good enough.”
“I think John Boehner fought the good fight. I think he drove a hard bargain here,” Pence told reporters. “From what I know, it sounds like John Boehner got a good deal. Probably not good enough for me to support it, but a good deal nonetheless.”
– CNN’s Tom Cohen contributed to this report
The cuts hurt everyone. I am just glad the policy riders are out of there. There was no need to have those in any in a CR. That only slowed the process.
The Dems need to grow a spine and say no cuts unless oil subsidies are banned. Let's see if the GOBPbaggers can spin that bit of corporate welfare while cutting welfare for those who need it.
What would Robinhood do?
It is not just a spending problem. Since Reagan GOP tax cuts and loop holes have create a revenue problem. All of the GOP rethoric about being fiscal conservatives is BS and they know it. Then there is the lastest GOP/Ryan budget plan. It uses such false assumptions such as unemployhment dropping to historic (really far beyond feasible) and that the housing market will return to the boom year. (2006). Yet more false enrichment of the top 1%.
Then most appalling is the GOP and TEA Partier believe that Medicare will be saved by vouchers and and the "free market." Health care insurance is by no means anything other than an cartel. How about just letting Medicare negotiate price of medications. Now that is more of a free market concept and unacceptable to the Rethugnicans.