House Appropriations Committee Chairman Drops the Other Shoe for FY2011

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Drops the Other Shoe for FY2011

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) released the details of how much money each of his subcommittees will have to cut for the remainder of FY2011 this afternoon. The Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) subcommittee that includes NASA and NOAA will have to cut 11 percent from the President’s FY2011 request for all the agencies in that bill, or 16 percent from current (FY2010) levels.

The announcement follows action by the House Budget Committee Chairman, Paul Ryan (R-WI), earlier today setting the overall spending limits by which the appropriations committee must abide in writing a Continuing Resolution (CR) to cover the rest of FY2011. The current CR expires on March 4 and Congress must pass a new appropriations bill before then to avoid a government shutdown. The cuts will have to be absorbed by the agencies in the seven remaining months (March-September) of FY2011.

The so-called “302(b) allocations” call for an 11 percent cut to the total for the CJS subcommittee, which also includes the Departments of Commerce and Justice, the National Science Foundation, and several smaller commissions and offices. It does not specify what will happen with NASA and NOAA, but it is difficult to imagine they will not be impacted. The subcommittee will send a recommendation to the full committee and eventually the bill will have to be voted on by the full House. That vote may come next week.

CJS is not the hardest hit subcommittee. Compared to the FY2011 request, five other non-security subcommittees will have to make deeper cuts, and one other also is at 11 percent. The three subcommittees that deal with security spending (Defense, Homeland Security and Military Construction/Veterans Affairs) also must make cuts in the 2-3 percent range compared to the President’s request for FY2011. When compared to current funding (FY2010), it is second only to the Transportation-Housing and Urban Development subcommittee, however, in the percentage of cuts that must be made.

Chairman Rogers made a statement that says in part:

“…I am instructing each of the twelve Appropriations subcommittees to produce specific, substantive and comprehensive spending cuts. We are going go line by line to weed out and eliminate unnecessary, wasteful, or excess spending – and produce legislation that will represent the largest series of spending reductions in the history of Congress. These cuts will not be easy, they will be broad and deep, they will affect every Congressional district, but they are necessary and long overdue.”

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