GOP Budget Cuts
Author: Jamie Dupree
February 10, 2011 1:01 AM
Behind closed doors, key House Republicans worked late on Wednesday night, trying to cobble together a package of spending cuts, that might end up totaling more than an initial $35 billion savings plan.
The last minute negotiations came as GOP leaders heard more and more negative reviews of their cuts, as lawmakers new and old demanded something closer to the $100 billion in cuts that had been promised by Republicans during the last election campaign.
"We'll be working to add more to this first round of spending cuts," wrote Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA), who had grudgingly voted for the framework of a $35 billion plan on Tuesday.
Off the House floor, rank and file Republicans made clear that while they understood these cuts would not be easy, they feared GOP leaders were getting weak in the knees about making tough budget choices.
"That $100 billion mark, I think that's where we're going to get to," said Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), who said next week's debate on the House floor might turn into a Wild West shootout which could produce even larger cuts.
As for the plan produced by House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers of Kentucky, the details that were handed out to lawmakers at a GOP meeting on Wednesday left many lawmakers wanting deeper cutbacks.
"These cuts are real and will impact every District across the country - including my own," argued Rogers, who said the $35 billion plan was a good place to start "to right our fiscal ship and begin to reduce our massive deficits and debt."
But many GOP lawmakers expressed frustration not only with the level of cuts but also with the stubborn insistence of Rogers in using budget numbers that inflate the amount of cuts actually being envisioned by the GOP.
As he laid out examples of 70 different cutbacks, Rogers said total cuts would exceed $74 billion - which is when the GOP spending plan is compared with last year's proposed budget from President Obama - a budget that was never passed by the Congress.
It raised one question in the hallways of the Capitol - would a new set of numbers be used next week after the President unveils his new budget on Monday?
Republicans say they fully expect more complaints today - from both parties - once all the details are laid out on where the cuts will hit in the budget.
The arrival of that document will also begin the process for lawmakers to formulate their own amendments which can be offered next week on the House floor.
The current plan is for 20 hours of debate next week, stretched over three days, with votes on all kinds of amendments from Democrats and Republicans.
The only requirement is that the amenmdents be germane to the bill, and that they are pre-printed in the Congressional Record.
It means a lot of people will be furiously thumbing through the Record in coming days to see who wants to cut what programs.
And it sets up a wild few days on the House floor next week.
Finally, here is the list of 70 different cuts envisioned by the GOP leadership. The figures here are based on the comparison to the proposed White House budget from last year, so I would almost tell you to ignore those numbers, because they do not represent "real" cutback figures.
The List of 70 Spending Cuts to be Included in the CR follows:
· Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies -$30M
· Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy -$899M
· Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability -$49M
· Nuclear Energy -$169M
· Fossil Energy Research -$31M
· Clean Coal Technology -$18M
· Strategic Petroleum Reserve -$15M
· Energy Information Administration -$34M
· Office of Science -$1.1B
· Power Marketing Administrations -$52M
· Department of Treasury -$268M
· Internal Revenue Service -$593M
· Treasury Forfeiture Fund -$338M
· GSA Federal Buildings Fund -$1.7B
· ONDCP -$69M
· International Trade Administration -$93M
· Economic Development Assistance -$16M
· Minority Business Development Agency -$2M
· National Institute of Standards and Technology -$186M
· NOAA -$336M
· National Drug Intelligence Center -$11M
· Law Enforcement Wireless Communications -$52M
· US Marshals Service -$10M
· FBI -$74M
· State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance -$256M
· Juvenile Justice -$2.3M
· COPS -$600M
· NASA -$379M
· NSF -$139M
· Legal Services Corporation -$75M
· EPA -$1.6B
· Food Safety and Inspection Services -$53M
· Farm Service Agency -$201M
· Agriculture Research -$246M
· Natural Resource Conservation Service -$46M
· Rural Development Programs -$237M
· WIC -$758M
· International Food Aid grants -$544M
· FDA -$220M
· Land and Water Conservation Fund -$348M
· National Archives and Record Service -$20M
· DOE Loan Guarantee Authority -$1.4B
· EPA ENERGY STAR -$7.4M
· EPA GHG Reporting Registry -$9M
· USGS -$27M
· EPA Cap and Trade Technical Assistance -$5M
· EPA State and Local Air Quality Management -$25M
· Fish and Wildlife Service -$72M
· Smithsonian -$7.3M
· National Park Service -$51M
· Clean Water State Revolving Fund -$700M
· Drinking Water State Revolving Fund -$250M
· EPA Brownfields -$48M
· Forest Service -$38M
· National Endowment for the Arts -$6M
· National Endowment for the Humanities -$6M
· Job Training Programs -$2B
· Community Health Centers -$1.3B
· Maternal and Child Health Block Grants -$210M
· Family Planning -$327M
· Poison Control Centers -$27M
· CDC -$755M
· NIH -$1B
· Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services -$96M
· LIHEAP Contingency fund -$400M
· Community Services Block Grant -$405M
· High Speed Rail -$1B
· FAA Next Gen -$234M
· Amtrak -$224M
· HUD Community Development Fund -$530M
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