House Republicans unveil dramatic spending cuts
February 11th, 2011
11:25 PM ET
12 years ago

House Republicans unveil dramatic spending cuts

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.

Filed under: Budget • House Republicans
soundoff (323 Responses)
  1. yuhmad

    What happened to defense spending, Republicans?

    February 12, 2011 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  2. Trevor

    I notice the only things being cut are things that are actually good for this country. I got am idea, you could easily save all that money by reducing military spending,stop two useless wars, our let the bush tax cuts expire. Republicans are the most corrupt people in the world. Or government is starting to look like that of mexico. But instead of the drug cartels, we have republicans and corporations, who are now people thanks to the republicans.

    February 12, 2011 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  3. Charles Henrock

    When will the Democrats learn that you can't keep trying to meet the Republicans in the middle. They have refused to do so since Obama's been in office, and yet the Dems keep trying. The Republicans had no problems passing whatever they wanted during the Bush years, and never considered the Democrats wants. Why must the Democrats feel now that they have to be considerate of Republicans?

    February 12, 2011 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  4. Edwin Toroitich

    Yes I think this puts us on a right track. Welfare programs :housing should be slashed in half. Many working middle class see a lot of money on this

    February 12, 2011 08:38 am at 8:38 am |

    I agree that cuts in spending need to be made but I think it needs to be most of the grants local communities receive for local parks,roads, and other projects that only benefit their areas. I really believe that would stop a lot of the nonsense about federal spending

    February 12, 2011 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Big businesses, Koch brothers and other billionaires, foreign corporations, the John Birch Society, Fox media, and citizens councils throughout the south are dancing in the streets today. My God, we just got out of a republican mess, and they want to take us back there.

    February 12, 2011 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  7. judy

    i agree we need to start making deep cut, we also need to stop giving money to other countrys when we cant afford it.

    February 12, 2011 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  8. John B

    This must be what they meant by JOBS JOBS JOBS!!! They will be cutting them like mad.

    February 12, 2011 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  9. US Citizen

    Why aren't Foreign Aid cuts also on this list? What is the amount of $ distributed each year for Foreign Aid? I'm sure that it's in the billions. Before there are any cuts in domestic spending, Foreign Aid cuts must be 1st.

    February 12, 2011 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  10. Fr33d0mhawk

    Typical, Big Govt conservatives never cut the biggest most intrusive forms of government. Big Govt conservatives cut NPR but don't cut Homeland Security, DEA, FBI, ATF, CIA, DOD, or subsidies to oil companies, big agri business nor pharmaceutical companies. Its elists socialism, redistribute the little bit of wealth the middle class has left exclusively to elitists Big Govt conservatives so they can build more prisons to keep them rife with slave labor, so they can keep awash in billions of unearned income. If you think Hitler, Stalin and Mao had small government, you might be a conservative.

    February 12, 2011 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  11. Greg

    What happened to giving "kids a shot at the American Dream" that Boehner was literally crying about on CBS—snot nosed and all. But hey, let's cut scholarships. Who needs those, right? Somebody ought to nominate Boner an Emmy for that stellar performance he gave on 60 MInutes.

    February 12, 2011 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  12. oldsoldierboy

    No spending cuts for the 80% of the pie chart we spend the most money on. Pick on the people programs that affect the American worker and the poor. The GOPs actions remind me of a runner who sprints at the start of the race and sets a pace they know they have no hope of maintaining only to find out later they ran the wrong race. They're trying to do too much too fast while barking up the wrong tree.

    February 12, 2011 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  13. Bill

    No pain, no gain, do whatever has to be done. REAL spending cuts will be welcomed by the world's financial markets.

    February 12, 2011 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  14. Dnick47

    Where are the cuts in Congressional salaries, benefits, and perks? As usual GOPers cut where it hurts you and me and not where it touches them. Phooney lip service as usual.

    February 12, 2011 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  15. Jim, Chesapeake, VA

    Approximately $750 billion dollars in spending cuts are necessary tto bring us back to 2008 levels. Half of the 2011 fiscal year is already over, so it is reasonable to expect $325 billion in cuts to bring us through to the end of the fiscal year to September 30th. October 1st is when the new fiscal year begins. The budget that is in preparation "now" for fiscal year 2012 needs to contain $750 billion in spending cuts to bring us back to 2008 levels. As a final note... 2008 levels still require significant borrowing by the to get through the 2012 fiscal year...

    February 12, 2011 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  16. Tom

    More smoke and mirrors by the GOP, and completely socially irresponsible! EVERYONE agrees we need to get our financial house in order, BUT what the GOP is failing to take into account is that behind these proposed $100 billion in tax cuts are several things that must be considered. First, how many hundreds of thousands of people will lose their jobs as a result? This will increase unemployment, slow recovery and put more financial burden on the state and federal governments related to unemployment benefits. Second, radical cuts to education will only weaken our long term position in the global economy! Third, damaging the environment (53% reduction in great lakes clean up) will only dramatically increase costs to clean them up later.

    At the end of the day, cutting for the sake of cutting is as irresponsible as spending for the sake of spending! NOTE: no mention of ANY cuts to the Pentagon... NONE! No mention of any modifications to entitlement programs. No talk of any reductions in federal pay and/or benefits. LETS GET REAL!!!! The Tea Party is a joke!

    February 12, 2011 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  17. JSAATY

    Good for them. They heard the voice of the people. These are exactly the types of deep cuts we need and need now. If the democrats block this, it is going to be their undoing. Obama, take heed.

    February 12, 2011 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  18. snafu

    Did they cut any perks that us normal Americans do not receive from their postions as congressmen? I don't believe they have and the damage they'll be willing to accomplish against all Americans will go down as the greatest mistake The Republican Party has ever made.

    February 12, 2011 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  19. jimmy the freak

    Tax the rich, feed the poor, 'til there are no rich no more.

    February 12, 2011 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  20. KatR

    These cuts are wrong because they force federal agencies to stop enforcing existing federal laws. The better solution is to reform the income tax laws. It started out as a fair progressive system back in 1913. Over the years it has evolved into a complicated mess that favors some while overburdening others. The result is deficits and debt. This has led to individual citizens feeling their tax burdens are too high and govt spending must be cut. Restore the fair progressive tax system established 100 yrs ago and both deficits and debts will go down with little need to cut spending.

    February 12, 2011 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  21. Granite Sentry

    Conservatives should judge how well the GOP is keeping to its promises by how loud the media is screaming. The more heartbreak and hand-wringing among the belligerentsia, the better our guys are doing. No complaints means they're backsliding again.

    February 12, 2011 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  22. Dale

    These are bad people. Conservatives have never demonstrated any fiscal responsibility nor acumen. To them it is about a moral view of the world where they can bully and scare. They feel they are better, and know what's best for me and my children. When people feel that kind of entitlement, it's time to push back.

    February 12, 2011 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  23. Jean

    I'm not rich but I would gladly pay more in taxes in order to have my food supply inspected and protected. I really don't want to live in a world were it's every man for himself and govt doesn't provide any regulation. I know we have to do better at balancing our spending vs our revenue but cutting services just we can continually cut taxes seems penny wise and pound foolish to me. We're never going to be globally competitive again at this rate.

    February 12, 2011 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
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