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. AF Vet

    So, as usual. Where are the cuts to the bloated military budget?

    February 12, 2011 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  2. GaryB

    So let's see, the GOP wants to gut the FDA and EPA which provide protections for almost all Americans so that the richest 2% of Americans can retain special tax breaks on their income over $250,000 a year and some of the top polluting companies and less responsible food producers can be more profitable. Who votes for these guys?

    February 12, 2011 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  3. huxley

    60 billion in cuts – out of a budget of close to 5 trillion dollars. That is a 1% budget cut. These politicians are not and never will be serious about fiscal responsibility. They just want to do a political song and dance to try to woe voters while maintaining their same old pork projects.

    February 12, 2011 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  4. Steven

    Time to move.

    February 12, 2011 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  5. SweetSuzie

    "...there may be some very worthy programs that are going to get hurt, but we all have to suck it up." Republicans didn't make the top 1% of earners "suck it up" and give up their tax cut. Apparently it would be harmful to our economy to have then forgo their Hummer. Instead, we're cutting food for women and children, education and safety. And Republican think they're the moral party?! Let's see what happens to the economy when we lay off teachers, policemen and kick the poor onto the streets. Maybe the poor and middle-classes would finally rise up.

    February 12, 2011 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  6. Chedar

    The Republican should raise the taxes for the rich to avoid cutting spending. I think it will be a better idea. I am sure the Senile Tea Partier will agree and endorse it in a heart beat/

    February 12, 2011 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  7. Jonathan

    Repuclican' reckless, irresponsible and shortsighted areas for cutting spending; unsurprisingly a bow to big business and the rich. Where were their budget sensibilities when it came to extending tax cuts for the rich last December, adding another 200 billion to the deficit for 2% of the US population.

    Scum. Villainy. Republicans. Thank goodness we have a Democrat controlled Senate to shut down their wickedness.

    February 12, 2011 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  8. Anonymous

    Well there goes america might as well drop the word united from the title

    February 12, 2011 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  9. wow, they want money to go to the fat cats

    Fat cats are all over the congress again. Cutting the programs that are helping normal people day to day and yet they don't touch defense and tax cuts to the rich and estate tax. Cut their own salaries, multiple offices, their health care etc.

    February 12, 2011 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  10. angel

    Yeah why don't you cut my disability check some more since we didn't get a cost of living increase in two years. We r slowly going from the middle class to the poor. Bunch of bastards

    February 12, 2011 03:12 am at 3:12 am |
  11. Cut and cut some more

    When are democrats going to realize they have no right to spend my money on willy nilly programs to win votes of their supporters. How dare they...

    February 12, 2011 03:13 am at 3:13 am |
  12. Renee

    G o p is not for ME. Obama 2012! ! !

    February 12, 2011 03:13 am at 3:13 am |
  13. Marry

    Yes, this looks like a GOP/TP plan. Very future orientated! Keep the people in despair and dump and times will be great for the GOP! Well my dear friends, you voted these people into the house. All for the rich, nothing for the middle class and poor. Well, enjoy!

    February 12, 2011 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  14. PA in Honolulu

    The Pentagon and the military is our country's worst financial enemy. This is where fraud, waste and abuse has spiraled out of control. THIS IS THE "MEAT" OF OUR DEFICIT and it's a crying shame that there's no one with "guts" enough to bring this to an end.

    February 12, 2011 03:17 am at 3:17 am |
  15. Andy

    Way to cut the food for women and children, they really need to suck it up. Socialists and their hunger, what do they know?

    February 12, 2011 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
  16. Ohboy

    Out of everything else in this article, this quote is what defines ludicrous: “'If we don’t do something our kids and our grandkids are screwed,' freshmen Rep. Joe Walsh, R-IL, told CNN." Because while he claims that he's looking out for future generations, what the Republican party is doing is trying to damage TODAY'S generation! The human element has been lost. They want to get the "fiscal" house in order, but what about caring for the people LIVING in this country's fiscal house? The cuts will literally be taking food out of the mouths of our children NOW.

    February 12, 2011 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  17. Donald

    And you thought the republican's didn't sound like the communist? Cutting children nutrition programs so that they would grow up poor and weak and will take lower pay for lame jobs? This is a classic pro big business policy by the Republicans. Anything that can drag americans down and make them cheap and exploitable by big business is good for them. Cut the food inspectors so that they can substitute your cereal with cement. That's as tea party as it gets.

    February 12, 2011 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
  18. Fonz

    This will be hard for this country for a while but it is time that the govt. reign in the irresponsible and rambunctious spending that Obama and his laughing stock administration has gotten away with. Obama could care less the damage that he is doing to this great country and our children's futures with his recklessness. Cant wait for 2012.

    February 12, 2011 03:30 am at 3:30 am |
  19. Bill

    We spend almost $ 700 billion a year on Defense, or roughly about half our annual deficit. Considering all the no-bid defense contracts handed out during the Bush Administration alone, there is significant waste that can be cut from our defense budget. Until the Republicans stop looking at the Defense budget as a 'sacred cow', they are NOT serious about reducing spending.

    February 12, 2011 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  20. Sarah

    The government just keeps cutting little pieces from everywhere until there is nothing. It seems like the people we have elected to see to our needs dont really case at all. With the way our government is going it would not shock me if we end up whe was Egypt is now.

    February 12, 2011 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  21. Daiv

    Since Richard Nixon announced the War on Drugs, the United States has spent over 2.5 TRILLION dollars. You'd think they might look there for some savings before they axed the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

    February 12, 2011 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  22. ryguy

    Isn't it nice that we, the middle class American family, has to be subjected to all these cuts, because of the previous budget that has been building in the past couple of years? Isn't it nice knowing that lots of these cuts wouldn't have to happened if we would just tax the rich? Isn't it nice knowing we got here in the first place by the government spending more than they were making? Isn't it nice that our jobs here are suffering because we shipped them overseas to help the richest 1% of Americans here to get richer?

    February 12, 2011 03:37 am at 3:37 am |
  23. why

    so we give tax cuts to the wealthy that is increasing our federal deficit, but to make up for it, we cut federal funding to programs that help the poor become educated and not hungry? does this make any sense to nebody? why did rep make it into office this go round again?

    February 12, 2011 03:39 am at 3:39 am |
  24. brian ferguson

    Is there a test Repugnants need to pass to prove they are self-serving, biacaignorant, uncaring idiots? There has to be one, I can't believe these scum are even of the same species as me. I have plan to cut the federal, abort all Repugnants before they can crawl out and infect the rest of us with their vileness. Then after a few generations we can get back to having a great caring country where people don't begrudge helping others when they're down. Repugnants don't care anyone except themselves. They're on a frightening path to destroying America, turning us into a third rate backwater. Please don't follow into their fascist bad old country.

    February 12, 2011 03:41 am at 3:41 am |
  25. patcee

    Oh, great. Slash money for food safety and get rid of inspectors, when there has been a huge shortage of inspectors for years. So we are going to risk even more meat recalls and salmonella on our eggs. Yeah, get rid of scholarships and school counseling – maybe next year you can get rid of schools altogether, except for the wealthy. Naturally, food programs for women and children have to go. No more job training or Head Start. Who needs them? Keep all the status quo for the wealthy big shots, though. Make their tax cuts permanent and screw everyone else.

    February 12, 2011 03:42 am at 3:42 am |
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