WASHINGTON — Republicans controlling the House promised Thursday to slash domestic agencies' spending by almost 20 percent in their drive to bring it back to levels in place before President Barack Obama took office.
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan announced the move as Republicans seek to keep a campaign promise to cut $100 billion from domestic programs.
The cuts would affect agencies that got budget boosts during Obama's first two years in office. The White House has vowed to fight Republicans, saying their plans could lead to widespread furloughs of federal employees and force vulnerable people off subsidized housing, reduce services in national parks and slash aid to schools and police and fire departments.
"Washington's spending spree is over," Ryan, R-Wis., said. "The spending limits will restore sanity to a broken budget process and return spending for domestic government agencies to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels."
The $100 billion savings figure is measured against Obama's budget request, but the actual savings would be less since Obama's budget boosts were never approved and the government is operating at 2010 levels. Instead, the savings from domestic programs in making the switch from 2010 to 2008 would be about $86 billion, imposing cuts of 19 percent on average.
The savings from domestic programs in the year ending Sept. 30 would be even. Republicans acknowledge they can achieve, at best, $32 billion in saving by Sept. 30.
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This report contains information from the Associated Press and the Washington Post.