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. Kevin

    Why is it that the people who are so "concerned" about the budget are the same ones who insisted on keeping the Bush tax cuts for the super-rich, which is what got us back into deficit spending. It doesn't make sense. Supply side economics defies arithmatic.

    February 12, 2011 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  2. James AFO

    Instead of completely eliminating agencies and programs they don’t like . . .
    Consolidate agencies . . .
    Then cut proportional amounts from all agencies until it equals 100 billion $’s.

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

    or they could just cut $100 billion from the $600 billion dollar military budget that has basically doubled in the last decade and call it a day...

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

    I would like to know, just what is not being cut from their proposal? Can we see what they are going to do to the top 5% of the nation to hurt/harm them or should the rest of the nation just keep getting the axe? How much more can they (republicans) think We the People will put up with this? Please tell me how many jobs they will create with these cuts? Real jobs that can help people pay their bills, enjoy (or even have) a life, provide for their families.

    February 12, 2011 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  5. Rick

    I do not mind spending cuts but no where did I see that the congress was going to cut their wages or benefits

    February 12, 2011 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  6. Moo

    This is ridiculous and will hurt the middle class working Americans more than they already are. God forbid the richest people in America have to pay more taxes instead lets just screw over the middle class and potentially screw up and entire generation of middle class children because of budget cuts to important programs like head start, scholarships, and education.

    February 12, 2011 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  7. Danny

    Well...didn't Obama say that it was gonna be tough for everyone to get this country back on track?
    Well, there you go Obama.
    It is gonna be tough.

    February 12, 2011 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  8. ed

    roll back medicare, social security, medicade, public employees, senate and congress salaries/pensions to 2005 levels.
    tie spending to income together; if they go up together they should come down together.

    February 12, 2011 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  9. Josh

    These cuts will never make it through the Senate.

    February 12, 2011 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  10. Jon

    Nice to know the GOP finally got religion on the national debt. After fueling the 13-fold increase in the national debt since Reagan became President 30 years ago, they are just now getting around to realizing they've created quite a mess. People who blame Clinton and Obama are misinformed because they each inherited a fiscal mess. Obama inherited a failed economy and 4 times the deficits that Clinton inherited. It took Clinton most of his 8 years to clean up the $350 billion annual deficit he inherited from Bush Sr. How long will it take to clean up the $1.4 trillion annual deficit that Obama inherited?

    February 12, 2011 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  11. Anonymous


    February 12, 2011 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  12. Moderate American

    No need to panic. The health reform reversal proposal failed, I think this will too. BEsides, the republican proposal is no bill, the writer gave it a legitimacy it does not have until it is voted on. Plus President Obama will probably veto it. 🙂
    Senator Schumer said in a congressional session, the crazy republliscan proposal will raise the deficit to
    3oo billion dollars. The present 14 billion deficit is way small, compared to that huge amount 🙁

    February 12, 2011 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  13. The Other Dale

    I think they got this backwards – if they get these things to go through our children and grandchildren are screwed. This is just outrageous grandstanding by a bunch of meatheads who think that pleasing a few wackos like Rand Paul will make everyone in the world happy. Evidently destroying the country is the only way to get voted back into office next time. Crazy. I long for the day when Republicans actually worked to get things done to help American instead of being bulllied like this.

    February 12, 2011 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  14. Anonymous

    Lets cut all education. We can save tons of money now. Then when these dumb kid grow up – they can all work at Wal-Mart until they retire at the age of 80! How about cutting the salary of the Congress and Senate and not give them health care when they are done their term. Also another way to save money – Stop giving it to other countries!

    February 12, 2011 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  15. rich223

    The liberals are gonna throw a fit. Reason and logic is like acid to them.

    February 12, 2011 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  16. Michael

    So much for the JOBS they promised to work on huh? Seems to me they are CUTTING JOBS.....same ol same ol.....

    February 12, 2011 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  17. listenclose

    wow im all for more conservative spending and doing more with what they have but this sounds pretty deep and drastic

    February 12, 2011 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  18. Tyler

    Lol the best is Pelosi's quote at the very end. Irresponsible? Not unless you think that being a prudent and cautious spender of taxpayer dollars is "irresponsible." If someone wants to see irresponsible, look no further than the House under Pelosi's leadership.

    February 12, 2011 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  19. search for sanity

    Just keep cutting education that will help us compete with other countries, maybe will be so ignorant that other countries will feel sorry for us.

    February 12, 2011 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  20. mlc

    Where are any cuts that will affect the affluent in this country. All these cuts will only lose jobs and make the poor poorer. Is this an all out attempt to divide America into a 2 class society? What uneducated idiots will be making the decisons in 20 years? We graduate them now with no reading, writing or math skills. What sacrifice are the rich making....oh excuse me, you are sacrificing your time to make cuts to destroy the rest of us. Who's going to do your manual labor when there are no workers left?

    February 12, 2011 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  21. TEW

    Wow!! Notice that its always those that have $$ that want to reduce funding and services for those that don't. Tea Party wackos operate on the phylosophy of "Damn the torpedos full steam ahead". In a way I hope those that voted for these right wing ultra-conservatives get exactly what they deserve....increased poverty, no medical care, contaminated food, polluted drinking water and increased crime. The one thing that will result is that the NRA will ensure everyone will own a gun so that they can go out and shoot their neighbor for survival. Military personnel will get hit heard as these wackos will soon go after benefits, retirements, educational entitlements that we have earned thorough our years of service and sacrifice. Someone please stop the madness of the GOP and the crazed Tea Party faction.

    February 12, 2011 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  22. MAC

    Maybe some of these federal employees need to take a pay cut like I had to to keep my job when the reccession started and still got layed off. We need to cut the budget and this is like they say about a thousand lawyers at the bottom of the sea, "A GOOD START"!

    February 12, 2011 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  23. James R. Ruston

    I didn't see anything about cutting the defense budget. Did I miss something, or is that budget off the table?

    February 12, 2011 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  24. Carla Coleman

    If the poor and middle-class must suffer then I think the rich and well off, the banks, Wall Street, big U.S. businesses making money oversees and over-charging U.S. Citizens ought to pay more taxes to offset this misery that the everday citizen must bare. Are the Legislators at the Capitol going to cut their pay? Egypts people wanted fairness got tired of being oppressed. Greed killing the Needy!

    February 12, 2011 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  25. deejPDX

    Interesting, if the Republicans are a "for jobs" party, why would they introduce a budget that will obviously cost a lot of jobs?

    February 12, 2011 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
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