NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Congress Made Some Spending Cuts

October 7, 1996

While federal spending levels are still extraordinarily high in the eyes of budget-cutting hawks, Republicans did make some inroads in reducing federal bloat in the past two years.

  • For the first time in modern memory Congress made cuts in discretionary spending, from $246 billion to $231 billion.
  • Foreign aid was cut by $1.5 billion, and appropriations for Interior Department programs and other agencies were reduced $1.4 billion from levels appropriated when the Democrats last controlled Congress.
  • Congress cut funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Veterans Administration and independent agencies from $70.4 billion in 1995 to $64.4 billion this year.
  • Republicans managed to cut the President's Advanced Technical Program -- a give-away to big business -- from $350 million to $225 million.
  • Nearly 300 federal programs have been eliminated during the past two years. Perhaps as a harbinger of things to come, the Internal Revenue Service saw its budget reduced by $141 million.

Source: Donald Lambro, "Passing Grades for the GOP Congress," Washington Times, October 7, 1996.


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