The House Republicans are voting this week to cut government spending this year by at least $60 billion in the Continuing Resolution (CR).
In addition to the base CR bill, there are 583 amendments (at last count) being offered to the CR in the open process on the floor this week. Many of the Republican amendments would further cut spending and defund liberal policies.
Conservatives should monitor the debate all week in the House this week to track which of these key amendments are included in the final bill for final passage, which is expected on Thursday afternoon.
Having poured through the 583 amendments and gotten input from key conservatives, below is a list of the 10 most important amendments for conservatives to monitor this week.
1. Cut $20 Billion More (Amendment No. 104): As Chairman of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), Rep. Jim Jordan (R.-Ohio) offered an amendment to further cut spending in the CR to get closer to the promises in the GOP’s “Pledge to America.” The amendment is expected to be one of the very last voted on before final passage.
The current base text of the CR is $8 billion over the promised 2008 spending levels. Also, the CR cuts spending by $60 billion in this fiscal year, not the $100 billion cited in the Pledge. The RSC’s amendments would further cut spending in the CR by reducing Congress’ own budget by an additional 11% and other non-security accounts by an additional 5.5% (with one exemption for aid to Israel.)
The RSC amendment would in effect cut spending back below 2008 levels (before the Democrats’ spending spree) and save an additional $19-$20 billion in non-security, discretionary spending.
2. Defund ObamaCare Implementation (Amendment No. 575): Rep. Denny Rehberg (R.-Mont.) introduced an amendment on Wednesday that would prohibit any funds from the Labor and Health and Human Services Agencies to be used to implement ObamaCare. Rehberg is the Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor and HHS.
This defunding of ObamaCare would be for the duration of this CR, which ends on September 30. Rehberg’s amendment states that “none of the funds made available by this [CR] may be used for any employee, officer, contractor, or grantee of any department or agency” to implement the ObamaCare law.
“We’ll defund ObamaCare one piece at a time. My amendment prevents funding from being used to implement ObamaCare while we continue to work for a full legislative or judicial repeal,” said Rehberg in a statement after introducing his amendment.
3. Prohibit IRS Funding for ObamaCare (Amendment No. 274): Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R.-Wash.) offered an amendment that would prohibit any funds from the CR to be used to “pay any employee, contractor, or grantee of the Internal Revenue Service to implement or enforce the provisions of, or amendments made by” the healthcare law.
Rodgers’s amendment mirrors a bill which she introduced two weeks ago which would prevent the IRS from hiring the estimated 17,000 new employees needed to enforce the individual mandate section of ObamaCare.
Rodgers said her bill would “protect the constitutional right of every American to decide what healthcare is best for themselves and their families, while also saving taxpayers about $10 billion by preventing yet another unnecessary increase in the number of government employees.”
4. Stop Net Neutrality (Amendment No. 9): Rep. Cliff Stearns (R.-Fla.) offered an amendment that restricts any CR funds from being used to “implement the Report and Order of the Federal Communication Commission relating to the matter of preserving the open Internet and broadband industry practices.” The FCC rules were adopted on December 21.
As Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Oversight Subcommittee, Stearns plans to “outline that Internet regulation is out of the FCC’s jurisdiction and that regulation will hamper economic growth and job creation.”
5. Eliminate Obama’s Unconfirmed Czars (Amendment No. 204): Rep. Steve Scalise (R.-La.) introduced an amendment to prevent any CR funds to go to paying for any of President Obama’s czars who have not yet been confirmed.
Scalise lists nine czars (with very long titles) and their offices which would be defunded: Director of White House Office of Health Reform, Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, Special Envoy for Climate Change, Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Council on Environmental Quality, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury assigned to the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry and Senior Counselor for Manufacturing Policy, White House Director of Urban Affairs, Special Envoy to oversee the closure of the Detention Center at Guantanamo Bay, Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation at the Department of the Treasury, and Associate General Counsel and Chief Diversity Officer for the Federal Communications Commission.
6. Block EPA Enforcement (Amendment No. 198): Rep. Ted Poe (R.-Tex.) introduced an amendment that would prohibit any CR funds for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to “implement, administer, or enforce” the cap-and-trade program or requirements pertaining to the emissions of greenhouse gases, such as the permit requirement under the Clean Air Act
7. Defund ‘Family Planning’ Programs in Foreign Aid (Amendment No. 262): Rep. Bob Latta (R.-Ohio) has an amendment to eliminate the $440 million in funding for the State Department, foreign operations, and related programs “for international population control, family planning, and reproductive health.” Latta’s amendment would transfer the $440 million to the Spending Reduction Account.
8. Cut spending to 2006 levels (Amendmenent No. 163): Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R.-S.C.) goes even further than the rest of the Republican caucus by inserting a very brief but pointed amendment that would cut government spending drastically back to 2006 levels. Mulvaney’s amendment states: “None of the funds made available by this [CR] for any account (other than an account of the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, or Veterans Affairs) may be used in excess of the amount available for such account during fiscal year 2006.”
9. Defund Climate Change Panel (Amendment No. 149): Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R.-Mo.) has an amendment to block any CR funds from being used for “contributions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).”
10. End “Monuments to Me” (Amendment No. 26): Rep. Michael McCaul (R.-Tex.) has an amendment which blocks any CR funds from being used for “a project or program named for an individual serving in the United States Congress.”
McCaul, a longtime opponent of these projects, has called them “the height of hypocrisy,” which “feeds the belief that members of Congress are arrogant and out of touch with the people we represent.”
The CR debate is being done with a so-called open rule, meaning any Democrat or Republican can offer an amendment to the spending bill. And, if any amendment passes in the votes along the way, it will be a part of the final CR bill that goes to the Senate.
The result of an open process with over 500 amendments is that the House floor debate—on how much and what to cut in government spending—is messy, spirited, confusing, contentious, and exciting. In short, it’s democracy.
Congressional Republicans are outraged that President Obama sent a $3.7 trillion budget on Monday that continues the tax-and-spend policies that cost Democrats the midterm elections.
“Many people thought—ourselves included—that the President would moderate after this past election. This is not a moderating budget. This is not a triangulation budget. This is a budget that went to the left,” said Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).
“It would be better doing nothing than if we were to actually pass this budget—for the sake of our economy, for the sake of our future, and for the sake of jobs,” said a clearly fired-up Ryan.
Obama’s budget would increase spending by $8.7 trillion and add $13 trillion to the debt over 10 years, according to Republican analysis. The budget, which would go into effect in Fiscal Year 2012, would only reduce the deficit by $1.1 trillion over 10 years, a third of which would come from $1.6 trillion in tax increases.
“This is not an I-got-the-message budget. It’s unserious, and it’s irresponsible. We need to look for ways to preserve what’s good that does not put us on a path to bankruptcy. That was the challenge of this budget. The administration failed the test,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-Ky.) on Monday.
The current U.S. debt, which is the cumulative debts of years of deficit spending, will soon hit the statutory debt ceiling of $14.3 trillion. Republicans say that Obama’s budget would add another $13 trillion to the debt over the next 10 years.
The White House also claims that the proposed budget freezes discretionary spending (at the current high Democrat levels) for the next five years. Ryan, however, disagrees with this assertion.
Ryan, using a chart at a press conference on Monday, showed that the President’s budget includes $8.7 trillion of new spending and $13 trillion in new borrowing over the next decade. The budget also sets discretionary spending at $353 billion above the recommendations of his own debt commission.
“We must begin to do the difficult but necessary work of reining in a government that has grown beyond our ability to pay for it. We must acknowledge the mistakes of the past two years and work to correct them,” said McConnell. “The stimulus failed. This budget says `Do it again.’ ”Paul Ryan: Obama’s Budget Is ‘Debt on Arrival’ – HUMAN EVENTS.
The federal government has a large and growing presence in state and local policy activities. This rising intervention has been facilitated by “grants-in-aid,” which are programs that combine federal subsidies with topdown regulations to micromanage state and local affairs. A new analysis finds that the number of federal aid programs for state and local governments totaled 1,122 in 2010, or more than triple the number 25 years ago. Some of the most expensive federal aid programs are in the areas of education, housing, health care, and transportation. With today’s massive deficits, the federal government can no longer afford to fund all of these state and local activities. Federal lawmakers would better serve the nation by focusing on national issues rather than trying to fix potholes and run the schools. Furthermore, aid ties up the states in bureaucratic knots and reduces state policy innovation. The $646 billion aid system should be cut.
– Federal Aid-to-State Programs Top 1,100, by Chris Edwards, Tax & Budget Bulletin (February 2011)
With regard to the budget resolution the key question is what are the Republicans going to do about farm subsidies.
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan R.-Wis. is filing a budget limit this week that would cut government spending by $32 billion starting March 5. The Appropriations Committee will use the new spending levels to determine specific government department cuts and write a new Continuing Resolution CR bill that will come to the floor for a vote next week.
Legalized bribery has ended for the Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013 budgets, i.e., earmarks as a form of corruption will not occur. Thanks to the Tea Party, strong Republicans, and Senator John McCain (R-AZ1). Lobbyists are on the losing end, finally for a while. Lobbyists contributed much money to the campaign interests of Democratic Senators. This is generally an unreported achievement.
Read More: BYE BYE EARMARKS at DickMorris.com.
John Stossell of Human Events shows how the budget of $1.5 trillion can be cut to create a surplus in certain congressional scenarios.
Read More: I Can Balance the Budget – HUMAN EVENTS.