Total discretionary federal spending would fall by approximately $30 billion in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 compared to FY 2011 under spending allocations announced on May 11 by the House Appropriations Committee.
The plan would cut combined spending for the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education departments by more than $18 billion while the U.S. Department of Defense would receive an increase of $17 billion. These allocations, informally called “302(b)s,” represent the amount of federal money each appropriations subcommittee is allowed to dole out.
“Facing record-high deficits, this year, more than ever, we must make the hard budget decisions to help rein in spending,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY). “The appropriations bills this year will include double-digit reductions for virtually every nonsecurity area of government, while providing additional resources for the nation’s critical and urgent needs, such as our national defense. Many of these cuts will not win any popularity contests, but these types of reductions are imperative to overcoming our unparalleled fiscal crisis so that we can get our economy moving, create jobs, and provide future financial security.”
In a statement , Representative Norm Dicks (D-WA), top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, pointed out that the plan would “slash a devastating $41.5 billion” from President Obama’s request for the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill.
“These reductions are irresponsible and they would necessitate draconian cuts to programs that Americans depend on including Pell Grants, Head Start, Food Safety, and WIC, as well as assistance to state and local governments for law enforcement, infrastructure improvements, housing, community development, public health, and other needs,” Dicks said. “Rather than presenting a reasonable budget that continues the momentum of our economic recovery, the Republicans have decided to double-down on their bogus economic theory called ‘cut and grow.’ It’s clear from what we’re seeing in the economy that if these cuts were enacted, they would lead to a severe setback for economic growth by shedding more government jobs and further depressing state and local government spending.”