Not that there was much suspense, but the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday evening formally adopted a Republican blueprint for slicing almost $35 billion in discretionary spending from agency budgets for this fiscal year. The 27-22, mostly party-line vote followed an hour or so of debate in which Democrats decried the proposed reductions as harsh and Republicans defended them as necessary.
The blueprint covers the remainder of this fiscal year, which began in October. Overall, non-defense, non-security outlays would be chopped by about 9 percent.
While transportation and housing programs would take a 17 percent hit, funding for the State Department and foreign aid would be reduced by four percent and Congress by 2 percent in comparison with last year’s levels.
The potential effects on specific programs should become clearer late this week, when the House GOP releases the actual legislation. Although the bill will likely pass the Republican-run House, it faces a much harder sell in the Democrat-controlled Senate.