House Republicans Release $100 Billion (But Not Really $100 Billion) Budget Cut Package
After two months of hinting that they’d have to go back on their campaign promise to cut $100 billion from this year’s budget, the House Republicans have ended up bowing to Tea Party pressure and actually living up to their promise:
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) on Friday evening introduced a revised 2011 government spending bill that the GOP said will cut at least $100 billion in spending this fiscal year, bowing to demands by Tea Party-backed House freshmen.
The continuing resolution funding the government after March 4 cuts deeply across all areas of domestic spending and singles out many programs for complete elimination.
In the CR $81 billion has been cut from non-security programs, and security-related programs have been reduced by $19 billion, compared to Obama’s 2011 budget request.
The legislation will increase funding for the Department of Defense by 2 percent over last year’s level.
“This evening, on behalf of House Republicans, Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers introduced a Continuing Resolution that will reduce spending by at least $100 billion in the next 7 months – a historic effort to get our fiscal house in order and restore certainty to the economy,” Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said in a statement.
“At a time when unemployment is too high and economic growth is elusive in part because of the uncertainty created by our skyrocketing debt, this legislation will mark the largest spending cut in modern history and will help restore confidence so that people can get back to work. These are not easy cuts, but we are finally doing what every other American has to do in their households and their businesses, and that’s to begin a path of living within our means,” he said.
Of course, it’s unlikely that this is going to get anywhere in the Senate:
“Although Democrats have repeatedly urged them to join us in responsibly cutting waste and excess, Republicans have taken a meat ax to the initiatives that invest in our economy and create jobs for the sake of appeasing their base,” he said.
Of course, this being Washington, it’s time for the rest of the story. In this case, it’s the fact that $100 billion in budget cuts isn’t really $100 billion in budget cuts:
An earlier and milder leadership-backed version of the bill cut $32 billion from current levels of spending; the new bill was estimated to cut $58 billion.
Measured against the 2011 Obama budget request, which was never enacted, the earlier leadership bill cut $74 billion and the new bill cuts $100 billion.
Call it the new math.