Conservatives propose $2.5 trillion in spending cuts

House and Senate conservatives are pushing legislation to cut $2.5 trillion from the federal budget over 10 years.

The chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) are planning companion bills to make steep cuts to the budget. 

The No. 2 House Republican, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), said he would support an up-or-down vote in the House on the proposal.

"As promised, we will have an open process when it comes to spending bills," he said in a statement. "I look forward to these cuts and others being brought to the floor for an up-or-down vote during consideration of the CR, and I support that effort."

Jordan will formally unveil the proposal in a press conference with RSC members this afternoon, but he and DeMint outlined the basics of their plan this morning.

The plan calls for reducing spending for the rest of this coming fiscal year to 2008 levels and limiting spending in future fiscal years, through 2021, at 2006 levels for non-defense discretionary spending.

The plan would also do away with the remaining stimulus spending, eliminate automatic pay raises for federal workers and end a slew of federal programs — including support for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among other initiatives.

Republicans have demanded serious spending cuts in exchange for agreeing to raise the debt ceiling, which lawmakers must authorize in a vote sometime this year.

GOP leaders have homed in on reducing spending to 2008 levels as a first priority, which would mean about $50 billion in cuts this year. It's not clear that a plan like Jordan's and DeMint's — which they estimate as cutting $2.5 trillion over the next 10 years — would gain enough political support to advance.