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

    Thank you! Good Luck and God Bless You. Do the work you have been sent to do and you will be in power for a LONG time!

    February 9, 2011 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    Unless they plan to go after one or more of the sacred cows, like Defense or Entitlements, this is nibbling at the margins. Secretary Gates has already indicated over $150 Billion that can be cut withour imparing our ability to defend ourselves. Also, the time for means testing on Social Security and Medicare has arrived: unless there is a serious discussion by our legislative branch about these 3 areas, this attempt at reducing spending will be an attempt in name only. The other thing that needs to be asked is do these GOP legislators have the courage to vote the way they said they would, or will they cave? 63 Democrats lost their seats over Healthcare reform because they voted out of conviction, not political expediency: is the GOP willing to risk all? Time will tell. This is not a time for weakness or half-measures, but a time to carry out a plan, regardless of the political cost. Healthcare access has been improved and the banking system reformed, now lets tackle the debt and entitlements responsibly.

    February 9, 2011 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  3. thomas

    How much was two ten year wars ?

    February 9, 2011 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  4. Git Whitey

    You can bet that those spending cuts will come from programs that help the non-rich. It seems our economy is now built on the following activities:
    Eternal warfare against an enemy whose definition and location is ever-changing
    Ripping off the little guy. You know the drill: shady financial products, insurance, pharmaceuticals, privatized prison system
    Entertainment products which appeal to the lowest common denominator: Call of duty (gotta train that cannon fodder). Lady Gaga, need I say more?
    Fast food. Cuts down on future social security payouts.

    Is it any wonder that, in our greed for ever-escalating corporate profit, we've become the most dangerous terrorist nation on the face of the earth? It's only a matter of time until we're all working for the Church of McDisneySoft, LLC.

    They only call it class warfare when we fight back.

    February 9, 2011 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  5. trex

    You wanna balance the budget? Well, first off, stop policing the world for free. If Germany wants us there then they pay for the total package. If SK wants us there, they pay the total package. We have to stop being the world's policeman and stop borrowing money to support these troops in far lands. We should be .. rent an armed forces. At least our grand kids wont have to pay to keep SK free, SK should pay it.

    February 9, 2011 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  6. normajean

    These men really don't have a clue as to what they are doing. They have accomplished NOTHING in the last two to three years except to complain ,criticize and destruct. they have not worked on anything bi partisan or otherwise that has
    gone through channels to make their constituents lives easier, the out of work,homes lost and no-medical citizens in their own party have not recieved ONE BIT of help from these characterless,self centered men.How can voters continue to vote for a party that makes NO effort to help them when times are SO desperate?My faith is wearing thin!!!

    February 9, 2011 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  7. Gaylon Barrow

    You need to start right at the White House with your cuts. Finish there, then the Senators to finally the House. You need to take away your misbeguided benefits that you have imposed upon the American taxpayers. We are not the ones to make your lives comfortable for the rest of your lives. We sent you up there to do the deeds of the people and by gum you better do it are we will vote all of you out. IMPEACH OBAMA NOW.

    February 9, 2011 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  8. kyle

    Where are the jobs,? if there where more jobs, there will be more people paying taxes. When you outsource jobs, you also outsource taxes!!!!!!!!!!

    February 9, 2011 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  9. Derrick, Orange County

    Don't mess with my Social Security you creeps. But abolish Homeland Security, War on Drugs and make Dick Cheney pay back taxpayers for his corporate welfare program in Iraq.

    February 9, 2011 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  10. A

    Not surprising that education and health cuts are involved for the ordinary person. They are only interested in corporations, period. Probably would get more bang for the buck if defense spending was cut. I guess they are more interested in keeping a war going on for years instead.

    February 9, 2011 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  11. ej in tacoma

    Is the GOP serious cuts in community health care, high speed rail, and job training! What makes them hate the average American so much I don't get it!! The GOP have their noses so high up in the air sniffing pennies in Heaven that the don't see the people they are wiping their feet on. What hypocrites!
    ej in Tacoma

    February 9, 2011 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  12. really?

    say good bye to America if these fools get in charge of everything – watch unemployment soar

    February 9, 2011 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  13. unknown

    Lets get rid of the FBI, CIA, and every other office, get rid the police, army, marines( who needs protection when you have money to bribe your way?), all education ( who needs it?), no more funding for hospitals ( let them die one less person to pay taxes), decrease pay of the legislatures, no more protection for oil drilling, mining, lets be like China! no taxes just kill and get rid of all the little resorts ppl love to go to. There is 0 chance that we will ever be hit by a asteroid so get rid of NASA, and if there is an asteroid blame it on the democrats for not emphasizing it, but i guess no more debt no more need of security and health, flip flop

    February 10, 2011 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  14. Aaron

    Can't they pool some of their bribe money and contribute it to the budget? They must be raking in billions a year in contributions/bribes.

    February 10, 2011 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  15. J.V.Hodgson

    Why dont you CNN say that the Republican plans represent In the current budget fiscal year $35bn but in an ongoing same situatuion or annualised basis $58bn.
    Then you say the grass roots wants the Republican pledge met of $100bn!!
    All fine, wonderful words but getting $100bn this fiscal is words that can never be converted into reality.
    In a sense that's not too bad what is bad is making the pledge in a political policy document ( liars as of now) statement prior to elections. They knew it was impossible to implement but sounded great.
    Liar Boehner, Liar O'connell, Liars Republican national committees ( tea partiers) only this time its a true and valid accusuation, not Wilson hot air and wind to the President!!
    The GOP leadership can be poised, willing, wanting, desiring, or any other " wishful thinking " words, but:-
    I will listen to a blog, tweet, draft bill, or GOP party document, proposed bill ,to the House that gets $100bn this fiscal year when it is published and approved by the GOP as whole.
    Till then nice meaningless words, just as were the pledges in thier Election manifesto!!

    February 10, 2011 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
  16. jules sand-perkins

    My first cuts would be unionized government workers and welfare payments to healthy young citizens capable of obtaining perhaps uninteresting work (labor) unrelated to their expertise and experience.
    I live in a city where many accept charitable offerings of free food but are unavailable to clean someone else's house.
    Most teenagers have become too good to mow lawns. When I was that age, I blistered my hands mowing a football field, but now I profit from having learned to work, and the blisters have healed.
    Do you wonder what's wrong with our economy?

    February 10, 2011 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  17. Name king

    We have the lowest taxes going to the federal government since the great depression and all there repugs talks about is cut cut cut. When are they going to know that this tax cut fiasco don't work when it comes to the budget name me one low tax cut era and the federal budget wasn't in shambles, I will be waiting, it just doesn't work, especially mow in a global economy.

    February 10, 2011 04:27 am at 4:27 am |
  18. diridi

    bunch of idiots...while growth is visible, and they talk of deficit, and takes some time for deficit to be normal...tell these idiots, and thugs..

    February 10, 2011 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  19. lgny

    Posting numbers without context is meaningless and promotes nothing more than junk comments.

    For example, the report states that EPA will be cut $1.6B. How large is this relative to the overall EPA budget? Are they calling for an across the board cut or is it targeted on specific programs.

    With more information, people can determine whether or not this cut is reasonable.

    February 10, 2011 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  20. Clwyd

    God Help us all! What about cuts for our illegal wars not just the Pentagon?

    February 10, 2011 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  21. Cfrench

    The division within the republican's ranks shows itself in everything the republicans try to do. They're going to regret placating the tea baggers come 2012. The majority of the electorate does not like, nor does it identify with the tea baggers. Republicans will suffer huge losses in 2012, mark my words.

    February 10, 2011 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  22. Eric

    Please cut social security to the ground. Completely destroy it. It has turned us into a welfare state where people think that SS is for retirement and they don't take responsibility for themselves.

    February 10, 2011 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  23. Rebekah

    Wow, no wonder we are becoming the most uneducated country in the world. Why don't they elect to pay for their own damn health care instead of tax payers footing the bill. How much would that save and why is this not a tea party subject?

    February 10, 2011 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  24. Rob R

    Here's an idea – return the top tax bracket to 39.6% as it was under Clinton. There's $800 billion right there. But no, we need millionaires to keep paying little to no taxes so we can cut programs like providing food to low-income children and so we can cut funding for more police officers – because as we know, there is virtually no crime in this country so who needs cops, right? Everyone should just follow the Republican mantra of 2nd Amendment rights and just arm themselves to the teeth.

    I desperately wish that come 2012, people WAKE UP and realize that the Republicans have once again bamboozeled them.

    February 10, 2011 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  25. KatR

    Keep trying GOP. You'll discover that cutting spending alone just ain't gonna work to reduce the debt and deficit. We have to get Americans working again. Why can't you come up with some ideas to create JOBS?

    February 10, 2011 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
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