House Republicans plan to vote Thursday on a resolution that would cut House operating budgets by 5 percent, saying the move would save taxpayers $35 million.
Speaker-designate John Boehner said the GOP resolution underscores House Republicans’ commitment to getting government spending in check.
“In the Pledge to America, Republicans made a clear commitment to cut Congress’s budget, and in our first full day on the job, we will do just that,” the Ohio Republican said in a statement. “To reverse Washington’s job-killing spending binge, sacrifices will be required throughout the federal government, and we are starting with ourselves. After taking this step, we will turn our attention to the rest of the federal budget, and the policies that are making it harder for small businesses to get people working again, including the job-killing health care law.”
The GOP resolution would reduce the operating budgets of House committees, leadership offices and individual member officials by 5 percent.
“More fundamentally, cutting the cost of Congress is part of bringing to the people’s House the humility and modesty our constituents are expecting from us,” Boehner said. “Delivering additional savings for taxpayers will, of course, require sustained vigilance on the part of all lawmakers and House officers.”
At least one committee has gone further than the 5 percent budget cut. Incoming Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers announced Tuesday that he would cut his panel's annual operating budget by 9 percent. Rogers said in a statement that he directed the committee to take a larger cut to emphasize its commitment to reducing government spending.
“Congress must begin immediately to reduce spending, and these budget cuts should start here and now — in our own offices," the Kentucky Republican said. "This year, the Appropriations Committee will be ground zero for a wide range of reductions across the federal government, and by cutting our own budget first, we are showing we’re willing to lead by example."
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.