A group of ninety GOP House members have signed and sent a letter to House speaker John Boehner, asking him to ensure that $100 billion is cut in non-defense discretionary spending from the fiscal year 2011 budget when the House votes on the final budget.
“We believe the first step in restoring the trust of the American people and rebuilding the American economy is, simply, to do what we said we would do during the campaign. Our first opportunity to do so will be upon us shortly,” wrote the lawmakers, led by Rep. Scott Garrett (R., N.J.), who chairs the Budget and Spending Task Force for the Republican Study Committee
Currently, the budget is being funded by a continuing resolution that expires March 4. In the Pledge to America, House Republicans said they would “roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, prebailout levels, saving us at least $100 billion in the first year alone.”
But when that promise was made, the assumption was that fiscal year 2011 would have a set budget featuring increases requested by President Obama. The $100 billion number was arrived at by comparing 2008 spending levels with the 2011 spending levels requested by Obama. Since Congress failed to pass a budget, those new spending levels never materialized.
In addition, with the 2011 fiscal year set to end in September, shaving $100 billion in savings from the approximately seven months left in March will be particularly difficult.
“Despite the added challenge of being four months into the current fiscal year, we still must keep our $100 billion pledge to the American people,” the House members urged in the letter. “These $100 billion in cuts to non-defense discretionary spending not only ensure that we keep our word to the American people; they represent a credible down payment on the fiscally responsible measures that will be needed to get the nation’s finances back on track.”