Updated: 6:37 p.m.
House Republicans officially began the process Thursday of cutting federal non-security spending as part of their campaign pledge to return to 2008 levels.
Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) released specific spending reduction levels related to the fiscal 2011 budget allocation that Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) released earlier in the day. The government is currently being funded by a continuing resolution that expires March 4, and Ryan’s plan would apply to spending for the remaining seven months of the fiscal year.
Rogers’ outline to the Appropriations subcommittees includes cuts to every spending area outside of entitlements. For example, the Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee was instructed to reduce spending below fiscal 2010 levels by 16 percent, while the Agriculture Subcommittee is to make a 14 percent cut and the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee is to make a 13 percent cut.
Over the next several days, the Appropriations members will cobble together another continuing resolution, with the goal of funding the government for the remainder of the fiscal year.
House Budget ranking member Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) criticized the proposal.
“House Republicans’ proposed drastic cuts in funding for the current year are a step in the wrong direction, at the wrong time,” he said in a statement.
Ryan’s overall budget allocation represents about $43 billion in cuts to non-security spending compared with fiscal 2010 spending levels. It would increase security spending by $8 billion over fiscal 2010 levels, resulting in a net savings of $35 billion.
The plan is also $74 billion below President Barack Obama’s total fiscal 2011 budget request and $58 billion below the non-security portion of the president’s request. House Republican leaders had said they would cut $100 billion compared with Obama’s budget request.