House GOP to cut $6B in three-week measure funding government

House Republican appropriators are drafting a three-week measure that cuts another $6 billion in spending this year. 

The precise cuts in the continuing resolution, which is to be unveiled Friday, have not been detailed.

Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) said there has been pressure from some House members to include riders in the short-term bill that would, for example, defund public broadcasting or Planned Parenthood, but the committee is not focusing on that at this time.

"It will be a relatively clean bill, I imagine," Simpson said. He cautioned he had not seen the draft.

Simpson said the committee is looking at earmarked accounts for the savings. The House and Senate have agreed to ban earmarks temporarily, and it would be hard for Senate Democrats to defeat a short-term spending bill that finds most or all of its savings from past earmarks, embedded in the current funding level. 

Steve Ellis of Taxpayers for Common Sense said Thursday there were $10 billion in earmarks in the fiscal 2010 bill, on which current funding is based, so there is a lot from which to choose. The two-week CR enacted this month cut $2.7 billion in earmarked funding.

One aide said it is unlikely NPR would be defunded in the short-term bill because the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, through which NPR receives grant money,  is funded two years in advance. Any savings would not be able to count toward the $6 billion total.

This post was updated to clarify that NPR receives money through CPB.