House GOP spending cuts get personal
February 17th, 2011
06:54 PM ET
11 years ago

House GOP spending cuts get personal

Washington (CNN) - As the rare open debate over the House Republicans' $60 billion spending cut plan unfolded on the House floor, some of those proposed cuts got personal. Two in particular were clearly aimed at projects near and dear to Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi's heart.

Early Thursday morning, when few House members were on the floor, Kentucky Republican Ed Whitfield pushed an amendment to cut $1.5 million from the so-called "Greening the Capitol" initiative. Pelosi launched the program in 2007 when she became speaker. She frequently touted the investments in energy efficient lighting and environmentally friendly efforts to reduce water use and the "carbon footprint" of the House of Representatives and its office buildings. Republicans raised questions about how much money the effort saved, and some called it a waste of taxpayer money. Whitfield's amendment was adopted by voice vote.

But another GOP amendment, proposed by Republican freshman Tom Reed of New York, literally hit closer to home for Pelosi. Reed's amendment took aim squarely at the Democratic leader’s San Francisco district by zeroing out federal funding for the Presidio Trust, a fund that pays for a public-private partnership to transform the former Army base into a national park.

Reed argued Congress' job was to oversee the transition, but now the Presidio should just operate with private money.

"It is high time that this fund uses the private capital raised to fund itself. The government does not need to subsidize development when private funds are already doing it at the Presidio. We cannot afford duplicative special trust funds," Reed said.

The amendment passed 239-186, with 15 Democrats joining 224 Republicans to support the cut.

Pelosi vowed to work with California’s two Democratic senators, Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, to restore the money.

The Democratic leader said cutting the trust's money now would hamper its goal to run on private funds by 2013.

"From its creation, we intended the Presidio to eventually become financially self-sustaining,” she said. “Every year, the federal investment required for the Presidio decreases. Instead, today's misguided Republican action would result in higher future obligations by the federal government."

Filed under: Congress • House Republicans
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Socialist idiot = Democrats

    Expect much more of this Pelosi, it's now common place, disappointment that is for you.

    February 17, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  2. js007

    Wow, posturing over $1.5M for greening the capitol a couple of months after holding everyone hostage in order to give Billionaires $90 BILLION in extra tax cuts. GOP – hypocrisy at its best.

    February 17, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  3. OneMoreTime

    Wow, early morning votes, "remember the second amendment" cries, secret meetings with Supreme Court Justice,
    Wisconsin Governor threatening to bring out the National Guard if riots interfere with government business,
    undisclosed donors to organizations who want to buy votes, more "read my lips" promises to shut down the government
    if you don't do things my way? I hardly think this is what the majority of Americans want, and we won't be quiet

    February 17, 2011 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  4. Four and The Door

    If Pelosi was in touch with Americans across the country she would hear much more about personal sacrifice and difficult decisions because of the economic difficulties. Instead, she vows to find another way to spend our tax dollars on her little project. I'm sure Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer will be right there with her. They don't have a clue either.

    February 17, 2011 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  5. duckbutter

    a huge waste of money...good job..keep cutting

    February 17, 2011 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  6. JML's been personal for way too about you STOP given tax breaks to the wealthy?

    February 17, 2011 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  7. A keen observer

    And who says that Boner's republican miscreants in the House are not petty and vindictive?

    February 17, 2011 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  8. Freedom

    Good job GOP! Thank you for keeping your promise to cut spending. Thank you Rep. Reed and Whitfield.

    February 17, 2011 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  9. CBR

    Are these Republicans cutting programs in their own districts? I can not believe that these politicians will not vote for programs that would benefit their district or state. The answer is not to just cut programs but to0know how this will effect the people involved.

    From what I have read I am not so sure that these cuts can be made without hurting those Americans who are at or near the poverty line. These people work and live in our communities. The jobs are frequently in food services, janitorial programs, waste collection, salaries for day care workers, etc.

    Their proclamations sound good, but let's see if they really do make the necessary cuts when their own states or districts are involved.

    February 17, 2011 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  10. Billy

    Certainly wouldn't want anything environmentally friendly or cost effective in the long run... that would go against the ignorant teahadist base that the republicans cater to these days.

    February 17, 2011 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  11. mfmg

    How small can you get!! Why are these guys so juvenile.... It seems as though the GOP are spiteful people that never see the big picture. The world is marching in front of us in regards to environmental causes and they still don't get it. Yet they want to spend hugh amounts of money on planes the military doesn't want???? What ever happened to real statesmenship???
    No Class. Our founding fathers must be crying in their graves.

    February 17, 2011 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  12. Bill from GA

    Show Americans you care, Congress. Cut your salaries. A starting point would be 2008, or even 2006, levels. Better still, since Congressional approval rates are below 20%, maybe 20% of current salaries would be appropriate, along with similar cuts in benefits.

    Make Americans proud of you.

    February 17, 2011 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  13. Pretzel Logic

    Ah petty Republicans against environmental initiatives and public parks. How classy! This will certainly result in increased jobs and a lively economy.

    February 17, 2011 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  14. Annie, Atlanta

    These guys aren't serious about setting an amount that they need to cut that doesn't include America's need to police the world and start wars for revenge or oil or both. The Military Industrial Complex is a complex of businesses, and lord knows the GOP loves those businesses. Cut military spending and raise taxes on those billionaires that just got those extra bonus tax breaks, then we'll talk. Why does it always have to be cuts on the backs of those who can least afford it? And why are they trying to break unions all over this country? There was no middle class until the labor movement. Is that the goal? Destroy the middle class? Then where will they find consumers?

    February 17, 2011 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |