All hope is not lost, however. The House is only half-way through this year’s appropriations process, whereby Congress actually doles out discretionary funding for federal agencies. There’s still time to comb through the remaining six appropriations bills and find areas where federal spending can be trimmed and waste can be eliminated.
The House will also mark up its version of the farm bill next week. In the version the Senate passed in June, 80% of the funding went to welfare programs like food stamps (SNAP) and other nutrition programs, which have exploded in cost in recent years and are in dire need of reform. The remainder was welfare of another kind: corporate welfare in the form of wasteful farm subsidies, the vast majority of which go to big agri-businesses instead of small family farmers. The House Agriculture Committee must recognize the bill for what it is (a welfare bill, not a farm bill) and pare back spending accordingly.
Ultimately, if House Republicans want to show the American people they meant what they said in the Pledge, they must seize these opportunities to make smart, bold spending cuts. Those Americans who swept Republicans into the majority in 2010 will be sorely disappointed if they don’t.
Adam Berkland is the federal affairs manager for Americans for Prosperity.