House votes to chop committee budgets by 11 percent

"Some of my colleagues, I know, have voiced their opposition to this measure, calling for a freeze in committee spending," Rep. Candice Miller (D-Mich.) said.

"But since sequestration, we just don't have the money to cover a freeze. We do not have the money."

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Democrats said reduced committee budgets would make it harder for committees to work on the issues of the day. Rep. Juan Vargas (D-Calif.) warned that the House Judiciary Committee, for example, would have a harder time working on immigration reform.

"With these cuts, we're not talking about the loss of new equipment or the next computer, or the printer," he said. "No, with these cuts, we're talking about gutting our capacity to do the jobs we were sent here to do by the American people."

Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who has spent weeks criticizing the sequester, said during debate, "Sequester starts with S. It stands for stupid."

"Now, we're about the process of undermining the people's government, by slashing its funding so it cannot provide the services that the people want and need and vote for," he said.

But Republicans said there is no additional money, and that no suggestions have been made about what spending offsets might be made to restore committee funding.

"The fact of the matter is, that this is all the money we have to spend," she said. "I guess we're sort of looking for other ideas for offsets for those that are saying that we should not pass this resolution. What kind of things would they offset?"

Republicans have already cut committee funding twice over the last several years, and with this resolution have cut committee spending by about 20 percent over the last three Congress's.