NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Deep Spending Cuts

January 24, 2011

A number of the House GOP's leading conservative members on Thursday announced legislation that would cut $2.5 trillion over 10 years, which will be by far the most ambitious and far-reaching proposal by the new majority to cut federal government spending, says the Daily Caller.

Rep. Jim Jordan's (R-Ohio) bill, which will have a companion bill introduced in the Senate by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), would eliminate such things as the U.S. Agency for International Development and its $1.39 billion annual budget, the $445 million annual subsidy for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the $1.5 billion annual subsidy for Amtrak, $2.5 billion in high speed rail grants, the $150 million subsidy for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and it would cut in half to $7.5 billion the federal travel budget.

  • But the program eliminations and reductions would account for only $330 billion of the $2.5 trillion in cuts.
  • The bulk of the cuts would come from returning nondefense discretionary spending -- which is currently $670 billion out of a $3.8 trillion budget for the 2011 fiscal year -- to the 2006 level of $496.7 billion, through 2021.
  • Going back to 2006 levels would reduce spending by $2.3 trillion over 10 years.

It is a significantly more drastic cut than the one proposed by House Republican leadership in the Pledge to America last fall, which proposed moving nondefense, nonmandatory spending for the current fiscal year back to 2008 levels, which was $522.3 billion, says the Caller.

Even if the House passed such legislation, it would face a steep challenge to passage in the Senate.  And President Obama is unlikely to support such a dramatic move to pull back on spending.

Nonetheless, the bill serves as a stake in the ground for fiscal hawks as they prepare for a major showdown over raising the debt ceiling, which will take place at some point in the next few months.

Source: Jon Ward, "House GOP Conservatives Set to Unveil $2.5 Trillion in Deep Spending Cuts," Daily Caller, January 20, 2011.

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