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.
Leaders from military and veterans service organizations joined Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kelly Ayotte , R-N.H., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference to urge the Senate to replace a provision in the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans. Wicker, Ayotee, and Graham earlier called for a bipartisan solution to replace the $6.3 billion in cuts to military retiree benefits.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.