Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.) has just now introduced an amendment to the continuing resolution that would cut non-defense discretionary spending by an additional $22 billion compared to President Obama’s 2011 budget request. It would roll back federal spending to just below 2008, pre-stimulus levels.
The amendment would acheive the additional cuts through across-the-board reductions — by 11 percent to Legislative Branch accounts and 5.5 percent to all other non-defense accounts. Aid to Isreal would be exempted from the cuts.
The measure is backed by members of the Republican Study Committee, the conservative caucus largely responsible for the push to cut spending by a full $100 billion for the remainder of the fiscal year. “Families and businesses have had to cut back, and they’re demanding that Washington do the same,” RSC chairman Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) said in a statement. “This week, Republicans are taking the first step to getting the country’s finances in order. This is already a good bill, but I believe we can make it even better.”
Additional sponsors of the amendment include Reps. Jordan, Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.), Scott Garrett (R., S.C.), Mike Pence (R., Ind.), John Campbell (R., Calif.), Jeff Duncan (R., S.C.), Frank Guinta (R., N.H.), Tim Huelskamp (R., Kan.), Steve Southerland (R., Mo.), and Joe Walsh (R., Ill.).
UPDATE: Rep. Dan Lungren (R., Calif.), a member of the RSC, just denounced the amendment on the House floor, saying across-the-board cuts are a “lazy” approach to fiscal responsibility. More on Lungren’s opposition here. And he’s not the only Republican opposing it, Blackburn fighting an uphill battle on this one.
UPDATE II (2:50 p.m.): The amendment fails, 147 to 281. More than 90 Republicans, including Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) voted ‘nay.’