Updating their budget estimates, House Republicans conceded Thursday that their best hope is to cut current appropriations by $32 billion for the remainder of this fiscal year, once new spending for defense and other security needs are added to the equation.
The impact on domestic spending and foreign aid programs would still be very severe, with the GOP seeking an immediate $58 billion cut from President Barack Obama’s once expansive 2011 budget. But with the Congressional Budget Office predicting a nearly $1.5 trillion deficit for the current year, the scaled-back estimates reflect the limits of a budget strategy so focused narrowly on one segment of appropriations.
As outlined by leadership and House Budget Committee staff, the new cap on appropriations will set a 2011 ceiling of $1.055 trillion—$32 billion less than the latest estimate by CBO of the full-year of the stop gap spending bill due to expire Mar. 4.
Most simply, domestic and foreign aid programs would be cut to $420 billion or about $40 billion below the levels now. But an additional $8 billion would be added for defense and security needs, even after making reductions from Obama’s Pentagon request.
This could accurately be summarized as “Yes, I had two double-bacon cheeseburgers with extra mayo and a large order of fries with gravy, but I would like to note my beverage was a diet coke.”
If you are not going to raise taxes and seriously cut defense spending, you aren’t serious.