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."