Patt Morrison for January 20, 2011

House Republican Study Committee paints broad strokes, takes aim at arts, aid funding

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USAID is on the list of programs and subsidies that Republicans announced they hope to eliminate over the next decade, along with payments to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the International Fund for Ireland, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Amtrak, the Hope VI public housing program, and Title X Family Planning programs.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, Amtrak, Title X Family Planning programs and USAID foreign aid programs—House Republicans wants them all eliminated. It’s part of the proposal put forth today by a group of 165 House Republicans dubbing themselves the Republican Study Committee to slash more than $2.5 trillion from the federal budget over the next decade. In addition to those agency eliminations, the RSC wants to fire 15% of the federal workforce; cut $80 billion from an upcoming resolution to keep the government running through September; and privatize housing insurance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Congressional Budget analysts say the RSC is getting ahead of itself with savings estimates; for example, the RSC proposal estimates that cutting off unspent funds from the 2009 economic stimulus package could save $45 billion but the CBO says a more accurate figure is probably closer to $4 billion. House leaders are unlikely to adopt such radical cuts but with a commitment to a minimum of $55 billion in cuts, what will make it on the chopping block and if this is hot air, how will a serious deficit conversation go once the dust has settled?

Guests:

Rep. John Fleming, M.D., R-Louisiana’s 4th District (Shreveport); member of the House Armed Services & Natural Resources Committees; member of the Balanced Budget Amendment Caucus

Rich Cohen, Senior Congressional Reporter for Politico


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