House Republicans have abandoned their plan to introduce a budget that cuts $74 billion from President Obama’s proposed spending levels and have instructed the Appropriations Committee to find a full $100 billion in cuts, committee Chairman Hal Rogers announced Thursday.
Republican leaders took a wave of criticism for announcing last month that their budget proposal for the next fiscal year would not reach the $100 billion level outlined in their “Pledge to America” last year. Bowing to pressure from conservatives in the caucus and an outcry from many Tea Party-backed freshman, they will unveil $100 billion in cuts after all.
“After meeting with my subcommittee Chairs, we have determined that the CR can and will reach a total of $100 billion in cuts compared to the President’s request immediately – fully meeting the goal outlined in the Republican ‘Pledge to America’ in one fell swoop,” said Rogers in a statement. “Our intent is to make deep but manageable cuts in nearly every area of government, leaving no stone unturned and allowing no agency or program to be held sacred. I have instructed my committee to include these deeper cuts, and we are continuing to work to complete this critical legislation.”
House freshman and members of the conservative Republican Study Committee led a heated discussion during a party conference meeting Wednesday morning, demanding Republican leaders find a way to follow through on the promise to cut $100 billion, a GOP aide familiar with the issue told The Daily Caller.
Republican leaders responded by sending the $74 billion proposal back to the Appropriations Committee and told them to find a way to make the necessary cuts.
“They did that at the behest of leadership,” the aide said.
In a press conference Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner said he is working with “members and our committee chairmen to make sure that this cut is as big as possible.”
“You’re going to see more spending cuts come out of this Congress than in any Congress in the history of this country,” Boehner added.
The Republican proposal will set the stage for a fight in Congress over the next few weeks as they work to find an agreement on federal spending levels before funding runs out on March 4.