House Budget Committee Chairman Cuts $74 Billion in FY2011 Domestic Discretionary Spending

House Budget Committee Chairman Cuts $74 Billion in FY2011 Domestic Discretionary Spending

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced today the budget limits he is setting for the rest of FY2011. The Republican-led House passed a resolution last month giving the Budget Committee chairman the power to set those limits himself without need of legislation that would have to pass though the Budget Committee and on the House floor.

His decision cuts $58 billion from the President’s request for non-security domestic discretionary spending for the rest of the current fiscal year. NASA and NOAA are both in this category. How much each of the appropriations subcommittees will have to cut to amass that total was not announced. NASA and NOAA both are part of the Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations subcommittee. Chairman Ryan also mandated that security spending be reduced by $16 billion, for a total of $74 billion that must be cut from the President’s FY2011 request.

Earlier, Republicans pledged to cut $100 billion from non-security domestic discretionary spending in FY2011, so today’s action does not meet that target. The Hill newspaper cites Republican aides as saying the cut is pro-rated to take account of the fact that five months of the fiscal year will have passed by the time the funding is appropriated, although Chairman Ryan’s statement did not assert that.

This is just one step in a long process that ultimately will have to find agreement in the Senate and on the President’s desk. The government is operating under a Continuing Resolution (CR) that expires on March 4; Congress must pass another appropriations bill by then or the government will have to shut down. As many point out, the FY2011 cuts will especially difficult for agencies to bear since they will have to be absorbed over seven months instead of 12.

Rep. Ryan’s action is also a harbinger of the harsh fiscal environment facing government agencies as debate begins soon on the FY2012 budget request, which will be submitted to Congress on February 14.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly indicated that Rep. Ryan was a Democrat not a Republican. We are mortified by our error.

User Comments has the right (but not the obligation) to monitor the comments and to remove any materials it deems inappropriate.  We do not post comments that include links to other websites since we have no control over that content nor can we verify the security of such links.