With the 112th Congress in full swing, some members of the House’s conservative Republican Study Committee are making a renewed effort to establish a committee whose only purpose is to find programs to cut from the federal budget.
The proposal, which was a non-starter when Democrats controlled the House and Senate, would create a so-called “Disappropriations Committee,” to root out redundant programs and investigate inefficiencies that can cut down on costs.
Spearheaded by freshman Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, the legislation will likely be introduced later this week.
The bill’s introduction comes at a time when Republicans are seeking new ways to make major cuts to the federal budget. House leadership is facing pressure from the RSC to find at least $100 billion in cuts. House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan recently proposed a budget $35 billion less than last year’s levels, substantially less than the conservative caucus called for.
The idea is a throwback to the now-defunct “Joint Committee on Reduction of Non-essential Federal Expenditures,” started by former Virginia Sen. Harry Byrd in 1941. The bi-cameral committee slashed an (inflation-adjusted) $38 billion from the federal budget in its first four years. The committee cut and eliminated programs enacted under President Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal,” but was dismantled in 1974.
The committee has the backing of Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, who outlined the plan in an op-ed last year and told The Daily Caller he foresees the bill getting a vote in the House this year, but that it’s a “long project.”
“We need a committee that all they do all day is think about how not to spend money,” Norquist said. “Once it gets more co-sponsors, this will snowball.”
Republican aides working on the bill said they had not yet discussed prospects with leadership.
A spokesman from House Speaker John Boehner’s office declined to comment on whether Republican leaders would bring it to the floor for a vote.