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The Gory Details on House Republicans’ 2011 Spending Cut Proposal


Jim Horney, our Director of Federal Fiscal Policy, has previously explained why House Republican leaders’ proposed cuts in non-security discretionary programs for the current fiscal year (2011) are deeper than they appear. Then yesterday, Jim and several of his colleagues issued a report that details the impact of those cuts, as reflected in a measure now on the House floor, in a number of specific areas, with state-by-state data.

Among other things, the proposal would:

  • Cut Head Start, which provides at-risk children up to age 5 with education, health, nutrition, and other services, by an amount equivalent to the cost of serving 157,000 children.
  • Cut Pell Grants, which help students afford college, by nearly 25 percent, affecting all 9 million students who receive them.
  • Cut, by more than half, Workforce Investment Act funding to provide job training, job search, and other employment assistance for low-income adults and workers whose jobs have been eliminated.  (As this blog post explains, the cuts to these programs would likely be much bigger next year.)
  • Cut, by more than half, two funds that help communities pay for sewage and wastewater treatment and for upgrading facilities that ensure safe drinking water.
  • Cut funds for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by 22 percent, for the Food and Drug Administration by 10 percent, and for the Food Safety Inspection Service by 9 percent.

Two months ago, during the debate over extending the Bush tax cuts, Republican congressional leaders insisted that we must spend scores of billions a year to provide tax cuts for the most affluent 2 percent of Americans — and threatened to end unemployment benefits for millions of jobless workers if they didn’t get their way. House Republicans now claim that we must slash spending in ways that would mean fewer children in Head Start, less help for students to attend college, less job training, and less funding for clean water, to name just a few examples. Those aren’t the right priorities for our nation.