The day after the President released his bloated FY 2012 budget, House Republicans are poised to begin debate today on the Continuing Resolution (CR) for the remainder of the 2011 Fiscal Year. In contrast to the President’s budget, which recommends a $1.5 trillion tax hike to underwrite $46 trillion in government spending over the next decade, House Republicans will begin debate today on the first Continuing Resolution ever proposed that actually cuts spending.
House Republicans promised in their Pledge to America that they would return spending to the pre-bailout, pre-“stimulus” levels, assuming the first opportunity to do so would be with the FY 2012 budget. The failure of House Democrats in the 111th Congress to pass a budget for the current fiscal year has afforded the new leadership a unique chance to cut spending ahead of FY 2012. House Republicans have capitalized on this opportunity by authoring a CR that cuts $100 billion from proposed spending levels for the current fiscal year.
This dials back the government growth of the past few years, ensuring taxpayers will not be on the hook for the failed spending agenda of the Pelosi-Reid-Obama government. The CR sets the stage for an FY 2012 Budget that will wholly fulfill the Pledge to America.
The Pledge states:
With common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops, we will roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels, saving us at least $100 billion in the first year alone and putting us on a path to begin paying down the debt, balancing the budget, and ending the spending spree in Washington that threatens our children’s future.
The Pledge to America’s promise was to return non-security, discretionary spending to 2008 levels. This Continuing Resolution is a down payment on that promise, setting the stage for a budget that ideally goes beyond the outline of the pledge.
The CR already goes beyond the promises made in the pledge by scrutinizing every part of the federal budget. While the Pentagon still enjoys an increase in funding, Republicans have cut almost $20 billion from these accounts as compared to the President’s request. This illustrates leadership is ready to direct a new dialogue on the paradigm of defense spending.
The CR also eliminates $8.5 billion in earmarks from the previous fiscal year, and rescinds unobligated “stimulus” funds, netting $6 billion in cuts. An open amendment process practically guarantees further cuts will be made.
After two years of overspending and bigger government, this CR demonstrates House Republicans are ready and willing to lead on fiscal responsibility. The Continuing Resolution opens the door to a new era of austerity and sets the stage for an FY 2012 budget that completely fulfills the Pledge to America.