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. Freeman4US

    The very fragment of We the People, is being decapitated by the new congress cuts.
    Education, scholarships, family planning, school counseling, Teach for America, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, AmeriCorps, and the COPS hiring program.
    Food Safety and Inspection, Housing, Transportation, Labor Health and Human Services. Do we see any job incentives with creating an industry that stimulates the work force? So who's looking out for USA?
    Compromising seems non negotiable. This Congress is FAT with special con$tituant$

    Americans should take the recent events in Egypt as a reflection with what must be done to this congress, too many years sitting in the same seat for what? Bargaining your freedom with the almighty dollar. Wake Up America now is the time speak up, stand out and campaign to put new blood in congress. Come on march onto Washington!

    February 12, 2011 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  2. james

    The huger the better.

    February 12, 2011 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  3. midwestmatt

    I searched this article for the term "defense department" and, just as I expected, I didn't find it anywhere. The Republicans made sure that none of their buddies that give millions to the Republicans, will see any of the bloat that they feed off of will get trimmed. Why help Americans when you can build more $350 million planes that sit idle in hangars while Americans lose their jobs to outsourced labor that Republicans love so much? Go ahead Boehner, keep screwing average working Americans and you'll be out in two, too.

    February 12, 2011 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  4. marva

    So, the wealthiest of Americans keep their borrowed tax cuts while programs that help those Americans hurting the most from the economy are eliminated or so severely under-funded as to make them worthless! Typical Republican strategy! "Across the board cuts" would have meant that EVERYONE feels the pinch! On the one hand, the GOP screams that the elimination of tax credits for the oil and gas industry and the wealthiest of Americans will stifle economic growth – cause the loss of tens of thousands of jobs necessary to encourage job growth! On the other hands, it will sacrifice tens of thousands of jobs of WORKING AMERICANS to secure the continued tax cuts to the oil and gas industry and the wealthiest of Americans! Of course, I expected no less! I can only hope that the Democrats in the Senate stand up FOR THE PEOPLE!

    February 12, 2011 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  5. Beverly

    Yes..perfect..cut research into global warming and pollution. Cut family planning services... Its a way better idea to cut these and others than to let the tax cuts for the top two percent expire. O yea, how much is that over two years..140 billion.. How much are all these cuts that will effect alot of middle class people... 60 billion...hmm seems that republicans aren't so in touch with regular middle class people.

    February 12, 2011 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  6. JoeyE

    shame on you, Republicans! you show no heart to environment or education at all.. shame on you!!! quit being abused!

    February 12, 2011 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  7. james

    It's called making the tough decisions. Democrats hate it because they've never had the stomach to do it, which is why we have a $1.5 trillion budget deficit and we're $14 trillion in the hole. Good work, Republicans, but you can throw in some more and no one with functioning grey matter is going to stop you.

    February 12, 2011 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  8. JD

    Here is an instant solution to the national debt: for every dollar the politicians spend on campaigning, one dollar has to be donated to the deficit.

    February 12, 2011 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  9. Republican's Are Fraud's !

    Okay, who hasn't caught on to the republican's scheme by now ? They are just going to throw crap up on the wall that has no chance of getting passed in order to appease the far right loony's of the teaparty ! This is so obvious , that it's comical ! The truth is many of these proposed cut's are vital function's of Government which are needed ! This is further evidence that the teaparty is clueless about how Government actually work's ! Watch soon the republican's are going to give the excuse saying " look we tried but we didn't have the vote's ". When they know full well that what they were proposing never had a chance to begin with ! The republican's are wasting time and money on frivolity and are finally realizing that it's a lot harder to govern than to sit on the side lines and point finger's !

    February 12, 2011 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  10. DonD

    What a twisted set of priorities. Socialize the losses and privatize the profits. Try the defense budget instead. A smidgeon of cuts to the excesses in that budget would amount to even more savings. Where is it?

    February 12, 2011 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  11. Bill from San Antonio

    Good ole Republicans! They cut money from the programs that help the people and increase money that help the corporations (Defense Contractors). The got poorer and the rich got a fortune! The Republicans – party of the rich!

    February 12, 2011 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  12. Rod

    Arranging the deck chairs on the titanic...

    If they actually cared about being responsible they'd cut defense spending and tackle social security and medicare.

    February 12, 2011 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  13. Randy

    Let the Democrats start screaming now that you can't cut this or that . . . all Democrats know how to do is spend money. Obama is a hypocrite saying to cut spending in the State of the Union then asking for more money later for a high speed train system. Give me a break.

    February 12, 2011 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  14. John Ciszek

    No defense cuts? Typical...

    February 12, 2011 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  15. todd

    Family planning, scholarships, school counseling? Let me guess, the military is fine, abstinence programs are fine, and no one is going to tax churches to raise cash.

    You have got to be freaking kidding me!!

    February 12, 2011 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  16. jma58

    How about cutting salaries and health care for congress?

    February 12, 2011 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  17. Mr. Wizard

    "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."

    What? Sounds like the government wrote this. No wonder our economy is screwed up nobody can count.

    February 12, 2011 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  18. Anonymous

    o man..

    February 12, 2011 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  19. Bill744

    This is penny wise and pound foolish.

    Cutting fossil fuel subsidies would go a lot further than these moves, with less harm to the environment. Of course, some miners and drillers would lose out and have to retrain for new jobs. But the net benefit would be much better than these short-sighted proposals.

    I'm tend to vote republican not a libertarian.... But the party has been infected with lib fever.

    Anybody know who signed the clean air act that created the EPA?....... Hint: it was a republican.

    February 12, 2011 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  20. Mark_PA

    This really is a case of the rich telling the middle class and poor to go to hell.
    The tax cuts they got Obama to extend for the wealthy would have covered three or four times their proposed cuts had they not gone through.
    These people have got to be stopped!!

    February 12, 2011 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  21. m

    If our legislatures are so determined to make cuts that impact EVERYONE, why aren't they taking a 20-30% cut of their own salaries and expenditures? Why didn't I read a 20% cut to the Dept. of Defense budget? It's interesting how we keep pumping up our war supplies but cutting our education. Why not just send our children to war and call it even? Idiots. Better yet, how about all the Reps. serve one tour in Iraq or Afghanistan then come talk to me and my kids about sucking it up because my working class, military background family is eating hamburger while you keep dining out on Prime Rib. Screw you.

    February 12, 2011 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  22. Ramrod

    It is not too late to introduce a war tax – make it retroactive. The Iraq and Afghan war has to be payed for. Don't pay for them with schools kids' lunch money. While we are at it, let's eliminate double and triple dipping – generals and politicians getting two or three genereous retirement benefits.

    February 12, 2011 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  23. Eric of Reseda

    So if all these Republicans are so concerned about fiscal responsibility, why are they elevating Reagan to God-like status when he was responsible for the most massive increase in our national deficit since WW2. The FACT is, our national deficit TODAY still suffers from the scam that was "trickle-down economics". Yeah, right. Like all those rich Republicans were so willign to pass the wealth around...

    February 12, 2011 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  24. annieLD

    Democrats should suprise Republican and Tea Party voters and give them what they want. That will guarantee a Democratic sweep in the NEXT elections. But do it fast so the pain will be felt ASAP. State and local governments and school boards will have to raise local taxes to make up for lost federal funds and slash their own budgets and public services. Govt. employees at all levels will lose good-paying jobs and find nothing in the private sector so they will stop spending and that will hurt businesses,who will lay off private sector workers. Slashing federal spending is FUN! Let the Tea Party begin!

    February 12, 2011 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  25. Nhan

    “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,” (Rep. Joe Walsh) said.

    Really? You're sucking it up? What exactly are you and your colleagues sacrificing for your country? I at least hope you and your family will eat the same contaminated food we will.

    February 12, 2011 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
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