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. EJ in Tacoma

    The GOP can't spare a dime off their taxes but they want to eliminate millions from necessary programs to keep their own pockets fat and full. What a bunch of hypocrites steeling from the poor and eliminating jobs. They haven't come up with one job creating idea as they professed they would do.
    EJ inTacoma

    February 12, 2011 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  2. Ron Reinknecht

    The Republican Party has put in place a program to destroy the poor, injure the unprotected and destroy the middleclass.
    Through their proposals they strive to protect big business who deindustrialized our country,and laugh at protecting the populace from their lack of oversight on contaiminated food to posionous imports. All the ingredients for a civil war are now in place and all we need is a catalyst. Read your history about the nations that have overthrown the dominating political party like Germany.
    This civil war will hopefully be at the polls but lets see what happens when push comes to shove.. I have never met a Republican politician who fed a hungry man and I am 73 years of age.

    February 12, 2011 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  3. Josh

    If there was ever a sign of proof that House Republicans represent the privileged and no other population it is this bill. This action brings shame on our entire governing system.

    February 12, 2011 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  4. Guero

    As long as Republicans continue to eliminate the middle class for personal gian, this country will continue to have a deficit. It has always been the middle class that has supported both the wealthy and the poor.

    February 12, 2011 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  5. Kai

    Figures. Screw the working- and middle-class, screw the students, and screw safety. Anything to keep money in the pockets of big businesses, the obscenely wealthy and the military.

    February 12, 2011 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  6. Donkey Party

    All these cuts still don't add up to the welfare handout the wealthiest 2% of the population gets from the GOP tax cuts. And Americans think the Taliban and Al Queda are our enemies? Looks like the GOP wants to destroy us just as badly.

    February 12, 2011 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  7. jeanette johnson

    The Dam Republicans Don,t Have A Heart Firrt Of All They Think They Own The Us They Make Me Sick That Was There Plan To Try And Run Over President Obama They Don,t Care About Nobody But Themselves Take A Firm Stand People Pray Its Time.

    February 12, 2011 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  8. Joshua Ludd

    "from education, to the environment to cops on the beat"

    Which means more poverty and more crime. Legalize hemp already and start cutting military spending.

    February 12, 2011 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  9. Jeff

    Blah, Blah, Blah...where are the cuts in congressional salaries? Where are the cuts in congressional benefits? Where are the cuts in congressional PERKS? Sure...reduce the white House budget...what about Congress? Where is the elimination of special congressional retirement, investment and pension plans resulting in these people having to be a serious part of the Social Security system? Until these types of steps are taken, no politician can be taken seriously that they want to do something.....EVERYBODY needs to suck it up.....including government employees and leaders. Frauds.

    February 12, 2011 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  10. sammyC

    What does Rep. Walsh mean when he says "we all have to suck it up?" What is HE losing in this budget? What is ANYBODY in the high-income brackets losing? They have their tax breaks. They get less regulation of their business activities because the govt. watchdogs are de-funded. They won't lose their jobs with all those government employees. Their kids don't need Head Start or scholarships. I can only hope they get sick from some rotten steak that wasn't inspected.

    February 12, 2011 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  11. Dewey

    Leave it to republicans to destroy our educationary system,Our nations protectors in uniform, and the environment. They will destroy America if we let them continue on. They completely destroyed our economy and turned a surplus into record defecits in less than eight years. Have we not had enough of their politics for the millionaires and billionaires?????

    February 12, 2011 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  12. shemwell

    Our nation is in trouble. Crime rates are about sky rocket. We are going to kill ourselves. Its going to be war in america. Lord help us please.

    February 12, 2011 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  13. Marla

    Don't these goons understand RECOVERY?
    We are just beginning to recover from our near-depression, unemployment has just begun to go down rather than up.
    Now these fools want to send a whole new crop of hard-working people to the unemployment lines while making this country a much less safe and pleasant place to live.
    Don't they understand that we need to invest in our country and its people in order to profit? Any homeowner knows that. You must invest in the upkeep of the house, especially it's safety features, in order to make a profit on it in the future.
    And these are supposed to be smart people??

    February 12, 2011 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  14. Dorkus Maximus

    As recently as 2004, then VP Dick Cheney was saying that deficits don't matter. But as soon as a Democrat is in the White House, then cutting the budget becomes the only way to save the country. Curious.

    February 12, 2011 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  15. your mothers sister

    Granted, our food inspection standards already slipped enormously during the Bush years, so expect to get more food poisoning, as the meat plants cut corners to maximize profits, all 'cause "we can't afford it". Regardless, this doesn't get the budget even close to being balanced.

    Then again, we spend 10x more on our military than the next coutry does, but no.... that money is off limits. In fact, despite that defense budget, we have a hard enough time picking on countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, let alone taking a country with a real military. America will find her way again when the annual defense budget hits about $100bn a year, until then, the taxpayers are just being looted to enrich the defense industry.

    February 12, 2011 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  16. conoclast

    It's JOBS Boehner; nothing else matters! WHERE'S THE JOBS, BOEHNER? WHERE'S THE JOBS, BOEHNER?

    February 12, 2011 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  17. Gb

    Well these cuts are pretty ridiculous, putting a deep knife on education and some necessary things that keep communities safe. My biggest question now is where are the cuts in the defense sectors guess they all waiting to cash their investments and kickbacks before they put the knife on that too. This spending cut bill is a joke and will get shut down like the health care repeal.

    February 12, 2011 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  18. Matt

    Good to see the republicans actually have a plan to cut spending, rather than just saying "spending needs to be cut".

    February 12, 2011 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  19. John J. Puccio

    So the Republicans want to cut every program that affects the poor and middle class, all so they could give an eight-hundred billion dollar tax break to their rich friends. This outrage is as bad their war crimes.

    February 12, 2011 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  20. chuck

    I love how the republicans don't give anything up in this deal. This is a somewhat insulting opening negotiating point to the democrats.

    February 12, 2011 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  21. ForeverYoung

    you gave $800 billion tax breaks spent $500 billion on 2 Wars . Gave another 1.3 Trillion to help the banks.. Now you want to CUT education? cops? Security for which you actually went to war for? Do you really care about your citizens or is it just an act in the great theater of Washington politics.POS repubs and spineless dems i hate you both euqally.

    Also 1st to post ::)

    February 12, 2011 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  22. SNAPPA

    If we don’t do something our kids and our grandkids are screwed,” freshmen Rep. Joe Walsh, R-IL, told CNN

    Why is it that the republicans are so worried about their kids and grandkids but won't even think about the future of the planet when it comes to climate change? Even if there is a remote chance that climate change is actually a threat the thought of our children having to face what will come if it turns out climate change is real. The only thing on the minds of conseratives is money, profits and the bottom line. Nothing else matters to them. Health inspectors in our meat warehouses sounds like a good idea to me, deregulations really did a bang up job on the banks and Wall St and they want less regulations?

    February 12, 2011 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  23. Alex

    There are several of these programs that would be tough to let go, like the corporation for public broadcasting, but even at $60B cut from last year's budget, it's still not enough. Tough as it is, it's time to reevaluate entitlement programs and defense spending. $20B is a drop in the bucket for defense, and Social Security is just unsustainable. Sad, but we have to face the facts.

    February 12, 2011 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  24. Whyareyour richkidsscrewed

    makes no sense... Why are your rich kids screwed? In the richest nation..a wall street of endless investment funding and rich kids with rich cars and rich computers.. Who screwed them? Democracy for a century and the richest military of all human history... Sounds fishy..

    February 12, 2011 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  25. shawnmatthew

    Cut it all from the military budget. Wouldnt even equate to 10% of their spending.

    February 12, 2011 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
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