House Republican leaders poised to give in to conservative demands for more spending cuts
February 9th, 2011
09:05 PM ET
11 years ago

House Republican leaders poised to give in to conservative demands for more spending cuts

WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Republican leaders under fire from fellow conservatives for backtracking on a promise to cut $100 billion in spending this year are suddenly trying to meet that goal, according to a senior House GOP aide.

"Right now there are a lot of moving parts but the leadership is working with the RSC (Republican Study Committee), the freshmen and the (House) Appropriations Committee to coalesce around a unified strategy to cut $100 billion," the senior House GOP aide tells CNN. He would speak only off the record because he was discussing internal GOP deliberations.

House Republicans will likely unveil their spending cuts as soon as Thursday, as part of a 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 4.

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 to spending levels currently funding the government. Ryan's proposed cuts would be $58 billion compared to spending recommended by President Barack Obama for 2011. Republican leaders say the reason for that is because the fiscal year is nearly half over, and the cuts they had planned reflect that.

Either way those cuts fall far short of the $100 billion this year that House Republicans vowed to slash 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.

Earlier Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee released a list of some 70 proposed cuts to programs and agencies, the first specifics Republicans have offered.

"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 House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers of Kentucky in a statement.

Some of the highlights in that GOP spending cut list include: 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.

Still, conservatives made clear the total amount planned for the chopping block, $35 billion compared with current funding levels, was nowhere near enough.

For example, House Republican Jeff Flake of Arizona, a new member of the Appropriations Committee, opposed the overall levels set by the committee and warned that he planned to offer amendments pushing for the full $100 billion that GOP leaders proposed to cut.

CNN's Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.

Filed under: Budget • House Republicans • Jeff Flake • Paul Ryan
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Real Patriots Do MORE than Salute the flag, They educate themselves

    Repugs can start by: working (a full schedule for a change) for free, giving up THEIR health insurance, giving up THEIR social security and Medicare, ending corporate welfare for big oil and the other fortune 500s that are turning record profits, going back to Regan era tax rates, then we'll talk about spending cuts

    February 10, 2011 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  2. Al-NY,NY

    ...and the destruction of the GOP by the TP-ers' begins. It's the "our way or the highway" mentality which will result in the downfall of this party, at least in a semi-rational state. The lunatics are running the asylum and it's gonna be a blast watching them eat each other alive

    February 10, 2011 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  3. GonzoinHouston

    Let 'em. Apparently nobody in the GOP has figured out that none of these extreme measures have any chance of passing in the Senate or being signed into law. Let me put this in words so simple even a Palin fan can understand them: If it passes on a party-line vote in the House, it will die in the Senate. OK? Now, if you can put together a package that can get real bi-partisan support, it has a good chance of becoming law.

    All of these time-wasting symbolic gestures to please the TP's are getting tiresome. Can we get on to some real work, please?

    February 10, 2011 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  4. Seattle Sue

    Soon Boehner will have real crocodile tears streaming down his face from dealing with the radical red neck tea party. They have created a Frankenstein and Boehner does not know what to do about it. Speaking of Boehner and the tea party, when will the jobs they promised to produce be coming?

    February 10, 2011 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  5. MPeters

    Where are the cuts to the actual budgetary items that get money, like Defense Spending which is like 30% of the budget? And WHY ARE WE ONLY ATTACKING "DISCRETIONARY SPENDING"!?

    Eisenhower warned about the military industrial complex running wild. We have it. To a tune of $1T a year! CUT THE FREAKING WASTE!

    February 10, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  6. Dnick47

    I hope they cut their slaraies, perk and staff by 75%. I they do that, then I'll believe they really want to cut spending. If they don't its the same old take from the poor and give to the rich.

    February 10, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
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