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. Doomed If Ya Do

    I think the party that has a self-mandate to make spending cuts, is the party doomed at the 2012 election booth. Sorry Republicans, you try to avoid all programs that help your buddies, but hurt real people instead. Your buddies have a handful of votes whereas your constituents and the others you affect can and will take their revenge the second November to come!

    February 12, 2011 05:18 am at 5:18 am |
  2. vincent grabowski

    About time. Congrats to the ones who are realistic.

    February 12, 2011 05:21 am at 5:21 am |
  3. Richard L

    Divide 60 Billion by 3 Trillion and tell me what you get.....


    That's right, this 'historic' spending cut is around 0.02 percent.

    If you bring home 3000 bucks a month, a 0.02 pct decrease is 60 bucks.

    We can't eliminate public debt without MAJOR cuts and MAJOR tax increases. Numbers do not lie.

    February 12, 2011 05:24 am at 5:24 am |
  4. Gary T.

    Has anybody put politics aside & looked at these cuts??

    February 12, 2011 05:24 am at 5:24 am |
  5. Tony

    Another wonderful Republican plan on how to manage your budget while keeping intact hefty tax breaks for the rich – cut needed social programs that aid the poor and the middle class, the children and the elderly, and other displaced citizens. It's going to be tough to listen to this kind of Tea Party crap for the next two years, but the next elections are in about 20 months, and hopefully the voters will wake up and toss these self-serving bums out on the street.

    February 12, 2011 05:26 am at 5:26 am |
  6. Mike

    Well if you can't outright allow corporations to circumvent regulation, just defund the regulatory agencies until they can't do their job.

    February 12, 2011 05:30 am at 5:30 am |
  7. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Yes, I too can cut down a full million dollars from my future, imaginary, never enacted spending, which happens to be only $20 dollars cut from my normal spending.
    I love how GOP reinvents math so that it can appear to 'fulfill' its campaign pledge.

    February 12, 2011 05:44 am at 5:44 am |
  8. FredinVicksburg

    Tax cuts are not based on protecting your children and grandchildren. The cuts are based on lowering taxes for the super rich fat cats. The Repuplicans could care less about your children and grandchildren – they are not contributing to political campaigns for the 2012 elections. I would note that my taxes are going up slightly because a credit that I previously had seems to have been eliminated – that puts a little more money into some rich guy's pocket. I have not voted for a Republican for the past 46 years.

    February 12, 2011 05:47 am at 5:47 am |
  9. Lorna

    Here we go...made sure the wealthy kept those tax lets try and reduce spending on the backs of those who can least bear up under the weight. One thing about the GOP...they are consistent in their march toward the destruction of the middle classes.

    February 12, 2011 05:49 am at 5:49 am |
  10. Peter E

    As always: republicans will slash and cut all education, all research, all safety regulations just so that they can keep their precious tax cuts, oil corporation subsidies, and farmer subsidies.
    I guess 'painful for everybody' budget cuts only refers to people who don't keep pumping money into their campaign coffers.

    February 12, 2011 05:49 am at 5:49 am |
  11. kay

    They didn't mention cutting their pay or the 70% we pay toward health care.

    February 12, 2011 05:52 am at 5:52 am |
  12. devan

    this is a start but many of these agencies should be totally eliminated. they are relics of the past

    February 12, 2011 05:56 am at 5:56 am |
  13. Isaac

    cut education, check.... enviornment, check...... police, check.....people that make sure our food is safe to eat, check........... our massive corporate welfare system that is defense spending that equates to over 3/4 of a TRILLION dollars A YEAR....... nope.

    February 12, 2011 05:56 am at 5:56 am |
  14. devan

    look for the Democrat dominated union controlled liberal media to fight any cuts to big govt. rhey must protect their fellow union members and Marxist ideology.

    February 12, 2011 05:59 am at 5:59 am |
  15. Irma in North Carolina

    This bill will never pass in the senate, so you guys are just wasting your time. Why dont they work on jobs? They dont care they all got good jobs the heck with the rest of this country.

    February 12, 2011 06:07 am at 6:07 am |
  16. Jim from Raytown

    Bend over America, and crack a smile. Yessir. These folks you elected are about to slip it to ya.

    February 12, 2011 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  17. Phil

    I'm not sure what's a bigger joke, $100B in spending cuts with a deficit of $1.5T or the headline of the story, "dramatic spending cuts." Lame.

    February 12, 2011 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  18. Bob Zmuda

    Good thing we extended tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy!

    February 12, 2011 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  19. X

    Notice how the GOP won't touch tax cuts to the rich or oil company subsidies.

    February 12, 2011 06:14 am at 6:14 am |
  20. Sean

    What is the point of "saving this nation for our children and grandchildren" if we are going to completely annihilate everything that a first-world civilization is good for?

    Oh yeah it's to keep America a place where businesses can continue to pillage the people and funnel money up to the top 1%.

    You see what happened over in Egypt? Think it can't happen in America? Just you wait.

    February 12, 2011 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  21. Anonymous

    This proof that Republicans believe we can cut our way out of debt. That will not work in your home or on a national level. This will surely kill jobs and lead to even more lost revenue for the country.

    February 12, 2011 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  22. Mrs. M. Gerwitz

    Why bother commenting these republicans ought to try living off what, lower middle class makes a year. They wouldn't make it, let them cut take a cut in their congressional pay or freeze for a few years. The average voter will remenmber what these "scrooges' did especially at the expense at the poor, disabled, seniors living on a fixed income.

    February 12, 2011 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  23. Chris

    Cuts to programs that help the middle-class and the poor, but while keeping place big breaks for the rich and corporations. Once again the Republicans show who they are for, and its not the average person.

    Also leaving their own congressional perks untouched. And doing nothing at all with the hugest slice of the budget: defense – got to keep all those lobbyists and contractors happy.

    February 12, 2011 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  24. Teresa

    Where's the Congressional proposal to cut their own pay and benefits? If everyone must feel some pain, we should start with them!

    February 12, 2011 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  25. Tony

    How about we end this joke of a failed 'war' on Marijuanna, which is far safer than both tabacco and aclhohol? BAM, there's a plus of 40 BILLION for the economy right there!!!
    But NOOOOO, lets screw over our education and environment first, because wasting money on what the DEA's own Judge Francis Young described as one of the most benign substances know to man is very very important.

    February 12, 2011 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
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