House Republican Leadership has called for extensive spending cuts nearing 25 percent on non-military sectors of the economy. The targets of large portions of these cuts are the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and federally funded public broadcasting. The spending bill forwarded by the House Appropriations Committee is being called historic as it blocks expenditure of nearly $2 billion in unallocated economic stimulus money. Additionally, it urges the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) to prevent enforcing the landmark Healthcare Bill.
The details of the bill are to reduce federal financing of the EPA by $3 billion. This is nearly a 30 percent cut from the current funding levels. The bill also seeks to trim more than $100 in spending on climate change related projects. Significantly, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be eliminated by this bill. Additionally, the High Speed Rail System forwarded by the Obama administration would also be significantly reduced. The obviously contentious bill will meet significant opposition from Democrats in the Senate. These policies represent an apparent challenge to the Obama administration’s agenda as it effectually cuts $100 billion from Obama’s 2011 spending plan.
Already, Senator Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee has stated that this most recent proposal by Republicans “…would knock the legs out from under our nascent economic recovery, kill jobs, and do virtually nothing to address the long-term fiscal crisis facing our country.” Debate on the bill is expected to start early next week.
However, the Wall Street Journal’s Michael Boskin cites the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimate that federal budget deficits will reach $1.5 trillion this year. This according to the article puts the Obama administration on course to add more federal debt in one term than all 43 previous presidents combined. In Obama’s defense, he’s called for freezes on discretionary spending, but this still puts spending at 20 percent higher than 2008 levels where the Republicans have advocated we return to.
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