Republicans unveil spending-bill specifics: What's cut and what's not

Republicans unveil spending-bill specifics: What's cut and what's not

House and Senate appropriators revealed details of the 2011 spending-cut deal early Tuesday morning, missing a self-imposed midnight deadline.

In dueling press releases, House Republicans emphasized the magnitude of cuts they won in the six-month spending bill after marathon negotiations, while Senate Democrats emphasized cuts they were able to avoid or diminish.


“Never before has any Congress made dramatic cuts such as those that are in this final legislation,” Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said in a statement. “The near $40 billion reduction in non-defense spending is nearly five times larger than any other cut in history, and is the result of this new Republican majority’s commitment to bring about real change in the way Washington spends the people’s money.”

The Senate Appropriations Committee, chaired by Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), said in its release that some of the cuts would be “especially painful.” But it said the bill preserves “critical programs” targeted by the original House-passed spending bill, including Head Start, Pell Grants and scientific and medical research programs.

The vote on H.R. 1473 had initially been planned for Wednesday but was pushed back to Thursday in accordance with a new GOP rule that bills be on view for three calendar days before floor action.

In total, the bill sets final 2011 spending levels at $1.049 trillion. This is a $78.5 billion decrease from Obama's 2011 budget request and a $39.9 billion decrease from the $1.089 trillion 2010 spending bills, as enacted.

Republicans had sought a $61 billion cut in spending, but negotiations with the Senate and White House scaled those demands back.

The total cuts, which span nearly the entire federal government, include $12 billion in cuts through three stopgap continuing resolutions and $28 billion in new cuts.

Compared to 2010 levels, there are big cuts to cherished Democratic-backed programs. The Women, Infants and Children nutrition program is cut $504 million, foreign food assistance by $194 million and assistance to state and local law enforcement by $415 million.

The Environmental Protection Agency is cut by $1.6 billion, a 16 percent reduction, and lawmakers from Western states were able to include a rider allowing states to de-list wolves from the endangered species list.

The Homeland Security Department sees significant cuts as well: $226 million is cut from the southern border fence at the suggestion of the Obama administration, and the number of Transportation Security Administration workers is capped. FEMA first-responder grants are cut by $786 million.

Health funding also takes a serious hit. Community healthcare centers lose $600 million. But Democrats noted that the health centers would not have to close altogether under a cut of this size.

On the other hand, Democrats were pleased that the Pell Grant award remains at $4,860 and there is a modest increase for Head Start. They also highlight that Race to the Top education awards continue.

The Food and Drug Administration will be able to implement last year's new food-safety bill, and the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission will be able to implement the Dodd-Frank financial reform under the levels spelled out in the bill, Democrats said. 

The Clinton-era COPS program is cut by $296 million. Low-income heating assistance is cut $390 million, while Community Development Funds are cut $942 million.

Contributions to the U.N. and other international institutions are cut $377 million; federal highway investment is cut $650 million.

The largest cut in the bill is from the Commerce Department, but this is something of an accounting trick since it relates to unspent Census money totaling $6.2 billion.

Republicans claim victory in defunding two so-called “ObamaCare” programs: the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (Co-Op) and Free Choice Voucher programs.

Republicans point out that the bill defunds four administration “czars”: The healthcare, climate change, car and urban affairs “czars” are eliminated, though in practice the administration can carry out the same activities by changing the titles of the people involved.

The bill also contains two controversial D.C.-related riders: One prevents the District from using local funds to provide abortion services for low-income women, and another institutes the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program, a favored item of Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFreedom Caucus presses McCarthy to force vote to oust Pelosi Stripping opportunity from DC's children Here's what Congress is reading at the beach this summer MORE (R-Ohio).

Lobbyists for-profit collegs were unsucessful in backdooring a rider they favored into the bill. The rider would have stopped a Department of Education rule that limits federal student aid to student attending for-profit colleges that do not provide marketable skills.

This post was most recently updated at 4:15 p.m.

Due to incorrect information provided by the House Appropriations Committee, this story initially referenced a cut in HIV prevention funding.