House Republicans Still Hate Spending Cuts
Last week, the House passed H.R. 5326, the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, by a vote of 247-163, providing $51.131 billion in discretionary appropriations for fiscal year 2013. That’s $1.61 billion or 3% below the amount of funding provided for these programs in fiscal year 2012–and $731 million or 1.4% below the amount requested by the president for fiscal year 2013. Not terrible, but clearly there was room to cut more spending, right? Surely House Republicans realized that Americans want them to cut more spending than 3%–and be more than 1.4% below where President Obama is, right? Right? Well, some conservative amendments did indeed pass. See these, for example:
- Diane Black (R-TN) – Prohibits the use of funds by the Attorney General to sue states over their immigration laws. Passed 238-173.
- Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) – Prohibits DOJ from using funds to defend Obamacare. Passed 229-194.
- Paul Broun (R-GA) – Cuts $181,000 from the Marine Mammal Commission. Passed by voice vote.
- Bill Flores (R-TX) – Prohibits funding to continue the ban on federal procurement of unconventional fuels. Passed 250-173.
- Trey Gowdy (R-SC) – Cut $1 million from the DOJ Administrative Account for Fast and Furious Program. Passed by voice vote.
- Rep Andy Harris (R-MD) – Cut $542,000 from NOAA Climate Website. Passed 219-189.
- Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) – Prohibits the use of funds by DOJ in contravention of the Defense of Marriage Act. Passed 245-171.
- Ben Quayle (R-AZ) – Blocks Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance that limits employers from looking at criminal records. Passed by voice vote.
- David Schweikert (R-AZ) – Prohibits the use of funds by the Attorney General to sue states over their voter ID laws. Passed 232-190.
- Joe Walsh (R-IL) – Prohibits funding for sanctuary cities. Passed by voice vote.
- Daniel Webster (R-FL) – Prohibits funding for the American Community Survey. Passed 232-190.
But check out these conservative amendments that failed–and by how much they failed:
- Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) – 1% across-the-board cut to discretionary spending. Defeated 160-251.
- Paul Broun (R-GA) – A 3% cut to all salaries and expenses—as well as administrative costs—in the bill, for a total savings of $847 million. Defeated 137-270.
- Paul Broun (R-GA) – 12.2% across-the-board cut, exempting US Marshals, FBI, and NASA. Defeated 105-307.
- Paul Broun (R-GA) – Cuts $15 million from the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery program. Defeated 168-239.
- Jeff Flake (R-AZ) – Cuts the National Science Foundation to fiscal year 2008 levels, for a total savings of $1.2 billion. Defeated 121-291.
- Bill Huizenga (R-MI) – Strikes the provision that bans public-private sector competition within the Bureau of Prisons and Federal Prison Industries. Defeated 199-211.
- Tom McClintock (R-CA) – Cuts $277.8 million from the International Trade Administration. Defeated 121-287.
- Mike Pompeo (R-KS) – Eliminates all funding for the Economic Development Agency (EDA), for a total savings of $219.5 million. Defeated 129-279.
- Ben Quayle (R-AZ) – Eliminates funding for the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia, for a total savings of $21 million. Defeated 147-259.
- Steve Scalise (R-LA) – Reduces Economic Development Administration funding to fiscal year 2008 levels, for a total savings of $18.2 million. Defeated 174-233.
- Austin Scott (R-GA) – Eliminates all funding for the Legal Services Corporation, for a total savings of $328 million. Defeated 122-289.
- Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) – Cuts $128 million from the Legal Services Corporation. Defeated 165-246.
Are you kidding me? House Republicans can’t come together to cut an additional 1%? Not $128 million from the much-hated Legal Services Corporation? Not $15 million from a salmon program? House Republicans are still deaf to your requests to cut more spending. Make sure they hear you.