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?
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