House panel proposes steep funding cuts for agencies

Double-digit budget cuts could be on the horizon for several federal agencies under the spending limit draft released by the House Appropriations Committee, the Federal Times reports.

The spending cuts announced Feb. 3 for each of the panel's 12 subcommittees would save taxpayers $74 billion compared with President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2011 request, according to a statement from the committee.

Related story:

Gates prepares more details on cuts to the defense budget

Calling the cuts “broad and deep,” the committee's chairman, Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), said he instructed each subcommittee to go line-by-line to weed out and eliminate wasteful or excess spending.

The cuts "will affect every congressional district, but they are necessary and long overdue,” Rogers said.

Likely to face major resistance by Senate Democrats and the White House, the blueprint outlines a 9 percent total cut on discretionary spending on non-defense and non-security programs compared with last year, according to Federal Times.       

On the higher end, funding for the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development departments and several smaller agencies would be cut by 17 percent, while financial services and general government would be slashed by 13 percent.

According to the report, the precise cuts, from agency to agency, should become known next week. That’s when Republicans release a spending bill to carry the government through the rest of fiscal 2011, George Behan, spokesman for the committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), told Federal Times.

“At the moment, we’re concerned about what the implications will be,” he said.

About the Author

Alysha Sideman is the online content producer for Washington Technology.


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