The House of Representatives is expected to vote on Tuesday on a resolution reducing non-security FY 2011 spending to Fiscal Year 2008 levels or less. Shortly thereafter, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) is expected to give the Appropriations Committee their spending allocations. The various Appropriations Subcommittees would then figure out which programs to cut and other options to meet the FY 2008 levels, approximately a $55 billion dollar cut. Under the current Continuing Resolution, non-security discretionary spending is about $462 billion, a total that does not include defense, veterans and homeland security money.
In contrast, non-security spending in fiscal 2008 totaled about $378 billion. Scaling back current spending for the entire fiscal 2011 year to 2008 levels would save more than $80 billion. But because almost half of the fiscal year will have passed by the time the current stopgap expires March 4, House appropriators are looking at a less dramatic cut in the $55 billion range. The Senate is not likely to cut funding so steeply, setting up another confrontation with the House.
The House Republican Study Committee, the conservative caucus, last week released the Spending Reduction Act which if enacted would cut federal funding by $2.5 trillion from 2012- 2021. It would do this by reducing domestic discretionary spending to FY 2006 levels through 2021. It suggests numerous programs to eliminate including various transit and education programs. It would also repeal the Medicaid FMAP increase. While the proposal is not likely to be debated in the Senate, it does indicate the steps the House may take to reduce the size of government and cut programs.