House conservatives keep pressure on GOP leaders on spending
January 24th, 2011
07:33 PM ET
12 years ago

House conservatives keep pressure on GOP leaders on spending

Washington (CNN) - Under pressure from House conservatives demanding deeper spending cuts than what House GOP leaders proposed, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said he is open to allowing a vote on their proposal.

"We committed prior to the election that we would reduce discretionary spending to '08 levels. If the will of the House is such, if there are 218 votes to deliver on ‘06 levels, then so be it," Cantor said Monday at his weekly session with reporters in the Capitol.

Last week the Republican Study Committee, a group of 175 conservative House Republicans, offered a measure to slash spending back to 2006 levels - $2.5 trillion over 10 years.

Rep. Scott Garrett, R-New Jersey, one of the leaders in that fight, told CNN that going to 2008 spending levels as his leadership proposed "would be a good first step" but said "we can do better than that."

Meanwhile, Garrett and 88 other House Republicans are also publicly pushing their leadership to keep the promise stated in the Pledge to America to cut spending by $100 billion this year.

Earlier this month, top House Republicans backtracked on that figure. They said that their promise to roll back spending to 2008 levels had added up to $100 billion when they calculated it in the fall, but because the government is being funded at last year's lower levels through March, the saving will only add up to $50 or $60 billion .

House conservatives made clear in their letter that won't fly with the voters who expect them to keep their vow.

"Despite the added challenge of being four months into the current fiscal year, we still must keep our $100 billion pledge to the American people. " the letter states. These $100 billion in cuts to non-defense discretionary spending not only ensure that we keep our word to the American people; they represent a credible down payment on the fiscally responsible measures that will be needed to get the nation's finances back on track."

Filed under: Eric Cantor • House • House Republicans
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. S. In California

    "We committed prior to the election that we would reduce discretionary spending to '08 levels.

    REALLY? Does this make any sense whatsoever? Do any of you remember what 08 was like? I do and I don't want to return the Bush years.

    January 24, 2011 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  2. CBR

    Even though everything from health care, hospital costs for our wounded service people, energy, military hardware, etc. costs more today the politicians want major cutbacks in spending to 2008 or 2006. .In 2006 with a Republican president we were spending more and more money because of the war. The money was never earmarked for the war.

    The politicians complain about the education costs and show us that our children are lagging behind. It costs money to education children. Without factoring in the pay raises for teachers and administrators the cost of running our public schools is going up.

    How much of this is hype and how much is reality.

    January 24, 2011 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  3. Gil

    Cantor said on "Meet the Press" that everything was open for cuts, including the military! I've yet to see a right wing nut ever drop a cent from our wars and the Pentagon! Make me a believer!

    January 24, 2011 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  4. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Why not be REAL Patriots and cut the budget to 1776 levels? That will get you reelected for sure!!

    January 24, 2011 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Republicans can and will keep repeating "that's why American voters sent us here" but will not produce nothing and that,s not going to cut it. All words and no action because they are all too busy running for President and that's exactly what Americans sent to Washington when they voted them in, all for self.

    January 24, 2011 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  6. once upon a horse

    well of course one of the things the GOP would love to cut spending on is Education and that makes perfect sense. Most people who are educated learn to think and once people learn to reason and think for themselves they are less likely to be lead by fear and fall for mis-information without doing fact checks first. Hence they are less likely also to vote Republican. If you don't believe me just look at the demographics for yourself and see the areas with the highest educated as compared to how they tend to vote. And that will mean more teachers out of work, and also law enforcement and fire fighters to add to the unemployment line. Yet no talk of cutting their own salaries and HC benefits.

    January 24, 2011 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  7. Sherri W.W.#1~ILLinois

    Bunch of Nuts,every one of these Repub/TP,that want to tear our country down for good,just when we might be getting started on building it back up. Not to mention that the Repubs are the ones who put the country in this mess!

    January 24, 2011 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  8. GaryB

    Here's the key problem with their position. They want to exclude defense spending, but that is the number 2 item in the budget (with social security being number 1). The fact is, we're developing planes and weapons that the military doesn't want because cancelling their development would mean a loss of jobs (and potentially votes) in some fairly red states. Until congress has the will to look past the next election and cut waste in the defense budget, most other cuts will be window dressing.

    January 24, 2011 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  9. Liberal4Obama

    Republicans irrational deficit cutting measures will only hurt the economy in the short term and stall any kind of job growth.

    January 24, 2011 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  10. Ben Ben

    Cantor and his ilk's only purpose is to get rid of Obama so they can win back the WHITE House for the White man and once that is accomplished they will forget all about spending cuts.

    January 24, 2011 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  11. Kara

    What do they intend to cut?

    January 24, 2011 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  12. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The question still remains - what are they going to cut? Some programs weren't around in 2008 (or 2006) and some that were around then have expired. They need more specifics which none of them seem to be able to say. Why is this no great surprise?

    January 24, 2011 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  13. donald

    We need someone to start questioning the GOP about the need to create jobs now. I thought this is why they were elected to office. We need real jobs now not in two years. We need fair trade practices, not just lip service. Like the President said about China’s job creation in the USA, they were old jobs, Boeing’s order was from 2007 not new orders. We need to create equal jobs in the USA to the jobs we create in China. We need the same rules that china imposes on business and what they manufacture in china to what we allow for the import to USA, equal and fair.

    January 24, 2011 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  14. Randy, San Francsco

    Easier said than done...wait til voters in red states and distsricts see their favorite pork barrel programs and government services cut out in the budget.

    January 24, 2011 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  15. Lefty McVeteran

    "the letter states. These $100 billion in cuts to non-defense discretionary spending"

    Orly? Then they are bringing back the glory days of Bush the 2nd... He slashed anything and everything, and then took all of the savings and then some and spent it on the military... The most bloated and inefficient military in the world.

    Go look at what Russia and China spend on their military. We have a hard enough time whooping up on poor impoverished countries like Iraq and Afghanistan with our trillion dollar military. Russia or China could soundly defeat us in a confilct, at less than 10% of what it costs us. Most of the spending isn't on salaries, either, it's on over-priced defense contractors, the "military industrial complex" that President Eisenhower warned us about.

    January 24, 2011 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |

    Simply put, here's a hint, dont make promises you cant keep! I know that is difficult to do in the political game but think about it, myself I would rather be pleasantly surprised versus being dissapionted about a promise not kept! thanks!

    January 24, 2011 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  17. KatR

    This idea of going backward to using previous spending levels is absurd. But then...what do you expect from a party that still hasn't figured out what caused the economic collapse?

    January 25, 2011 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  18. D. Bunker

    2006 seems like an awfully arbitrary date to use. Oh wait, that's when the Greedy Old Parasites were runnning two wars "off t he books".

    January 25, 2011 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  19. w l jones

    The leadership might be conservative but they are not going to cut spending at this time because for every dollar stay in our business hand they know it can creat seven dollar in economic activity.

    January 25, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  20. Nick , California

    I still don't see a plan from the Republicans.. but I guess that's part of their strategy.. stall... stall.. stall. 2012 is almost here.. stall... stall..

    January 25, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |