Senate Republican Policy Committee Chairman John Thune (S.D.) plans to offer a resolution to cut discretionary spending to 2008 levels during the Senate GOP’s closed-door meeting Tuesday.
The nonbinding resolution is part of a broad effort by GOP leaders to line up a series of votes for the Conference meeting to demonstrate that they are heeding the tea party movement’s calls to restrict spending and reduce the federal debt.
“My resolution highlights the tremendous growth in non-security discretionary spending over the past two years and calls for returning to FY 2008 non-security discretionary spending levels,” Thune said in a letter circulated to colleagues last week.
While the leadership has proposed a number of other nonbinding resolutions, including a balanced budget amendment and opposition to the creation of new entitlement programs, Thune’s proposal is particularly aggressive in that it would call for deep cuts to federal spending starting next year.
Thune’s office confirmed Monday that he is supporting a nonbinding resolution by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) that would ban earmarks. Thune, who has voted for past bans on earmarks, joined Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) in backing DeMint’s ban.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.