Appropriations Committees to Begin Cutting
After a one-week recess to allow Members of Congress to spend time in their districts, the new House majority will get started in earnest on reducing non-security, discretionary spending. Last week, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan announced the discretionary spending cap for the remainder of FY 2011 which will reduce spending to FY 2008 levels.
The spending cap will reduce non-security spending by $58 billion below the President’s request for FY 2011 or $32 billion less than the current CR spending levels. Some conservative Republicans are arguing for deeper cuts in spending, specifically the $100 billion promised in last year’s election season.
Following on the heels of the spending cap limit, House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers announced spending caps for each of the twelve appropriations bills, which cuts $74 billion from funding levels included in the President’s FY 2011 proposed budget. Rogers instructed the Appropriations subcommittees to “produce specific, substantive and comprehensive spending cuts.”
In a press release announcing subcommittee spending levels, Rogers stated: “We are going line by line to weed out and eliminate unnecessary, wasteful, or excess spending – and produce legislation that will represent the largest series of spending reductions in the history of Congress.” Specific spending cuts for each bill are expected later this week when the House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers releases a draft Continuing Resolution to fund government programs after the current CR expires on March 4, 2011.
As Congress works on spending bills for FY 2011, the President is finalizing his FY 2012 budget plan to submit to Congress. The President is expected to roll out the details of this budget plan next week, on February 14, 2011.
* The National Science Foundation’s budget is part of the Commerce, Justice, Science bill and the National Institutes of Health’s budget is part of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education bill.