After weeks of internal debate within the party, House Republicans revealed their proposal for a government funding bill that met demands from party conservatives for no less than $100 billion in cuts to the federal budget.
The intentionally-timed continuing resolution (CR) proposal precedes President Obama’s own budget request, which the White House will release next week.
“The CR contains over $100 billion in cuts compared to the President’s request – fully meeting the spending reduction goal outlined in the Republican ‘Pledge to America’ while providing common sense exceptions for our troops and veterans. These cuts go far and wide, and will affect every community in the nation,” said Appropriations Committee Chair Hal Rogers.
When compared to Obamas budget proposals for fiscal year 2011, the GOP bill includes $18 billion in cuts to the nation’s security budget and $81 billion to discretionary spending levels.
“These were hard decisions,” Rogers said.
Finding the cuts, however, will probably be the easiest part of the process.
Assuming members of the conservative Republican Study Committee do not protest over the fact that the proposal counted $19 billion in security cuts to reach the $100 billion goal, the bill will likely coast through the Republican-majority House. In the Democrat-majority Senate, however, the bill is virtually guaranteed to be gutted and sent back with fewer spending cuts.
Senate Democrats said Friday night that they would not pass a CR with $100 billion in cuts to the president.
“Republicans have taken a meat ax to the initiatives that invest in our economy and create jobs for the sake of appeasing their base,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said shortly after Republicans released the bill. “It’s time for them to stop bowing to the extremists in their party and start working with Democrats to find common-sense solutions to cut government spending and create jobs instead of rolling back the investments that are moving this country forward.”
With funding allocation for the federal government set to expire on March 4, the next three weeks will be a race to finding some sort of agreement between the parties.
To find out what Republicans want to cut, see the complete list of program cuts and a summary of the bill.