Building on the compact to cut spending made by the House in passing the GOP Budget last month, the House Appropriations Committee released Wednesday the framework for discretionary spending in the coming fiscal year. These plans effectively fulfill the GOP Pledge to America, which 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.
After authoring a significant down payment on the GOP’s Pledge in the final funding deal for FY 2011, the suballocations illustrate a significant departure from the spending status quo. Just as the first Continuing Resolution crafted this year was unprecedented in proposing spending cuts rather than increases, that the Appropriations Committee is providing a template for spending discipline demonstrates a new era of fiscal restraint is emerging with Republicans in control of the House of Representatives.
The committee’s plan includes a $30.4 billion cut from current spending levels, bringing non-defense, discretionary spending back to below 2008 levels. The suballocations effectively dial back the “stimulus” bloat built into baselines over the past few years and amount to over a trillion in savings over the next ten years.
After Congressional Democrats refused to pass a budget and failed to take up almost all of the appropriations bills last year, Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) also released a strict mark up schedule for the twelve appropriations bills, pledging to keep the process on time this year. Also in tune with the promises of transparency made in the Pledge to America, this signals that the days of pork-filled omnibus spending measures, shuttled through Congress at the end of the year, are a thing of the past. The suballocations from the Committee show House Republicans are serious about an open and honest appropriations process and are committed to fulfilling the promises made to American taxpayers.