*Update* Follow the Bouncing Budget

February 10, 2011 | By Liza Casabona | Post a Comment

Budget figures for the remainder of fiscal year 2011 continue to be a rapidly moving target.

The House Committee on Appropriations laid out the cuts envisioned by the Republican leadership yesterday afternoon, and was quickly besieged by calls from conservative members of the party for deeper across-the-board cuts. During the midterm election cycle, many Republicans pledged to cut $100 billion in spending, and a good number of freshman lawmakers are pushing the party to stick closer to that target.

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers laid out a partial list of 70 spending cuts to be included in the upcoming continuing resolution bill that the House will introduce to replace the current stopgap measure that expires on March 4. Compared with President Obama’s initial budget request for FY 2011, the House proposal would cut $74 billion in discretionary spending, largely from domestic programs. Congress failed to approve the majority of appropriations bills for FY 2011, passing the temporary CR instead.

Included in the Appropriations Committee’s proposal for the remainder of FY 2011 were cuts of:  $ 2 billion from job training programs, $1.3 billion from community health centers, $16 million in Economic Development Assistance, $237 million from rural development programs, $758 million from the Department of Agriculture’s Women Infants and Children program, $48 million from the Environmental Protection Agency’s brownfields program, $6 million from both the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, $210 million from the Maternal and Child Health Block Grants, $405 million from the Community Development Block Grant, $400 million from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and $530 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Fund.

The spending cuts would also take over a billion from both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Office of Science, in addition to reducing energy efficiency and renewable energy spending by $899 million. The proposal would also cut $1 billion from high-speed rail projects, an initiative that the Obama administration just this week said it would infuse with funds in its FY 2012 budget to be released next week.

*UPDATE* 3:00 p.m. This afternoon House Appropriations Chair Rogers said the CR will reach the total of $100 billion in cuts compared to Obama’s request that Republicans initially pledged “in one fell swoop.”

“Our intent is to make deep but manageable cuts in nearly every area of government, leaving no stone unturned and allowing no agency or program to be held sacred. I have instructed my committee to include these deeper cuts, and we are continuing to work to complete this critical legislation,” Rogers said in a statement today. He said specific cuts will be unveiled when the CR legislation is formally introduced.

What do you think, are these cuts going too far? Should the cuts go deeper? What are your thoughts about the specific programs proposed for cuts? How will they impact you?


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