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CR Unveiled -- Deep Cuts to Everything But the Military

April 12, 2011 - by Donny Shaw

Early Tuesday morning, the House Appropriations released full details of the 6-month government funding bill that was recently negotiated between the White House and Democrats and Republicans in Congress. The Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs would see their funding increase under the bill, but every other agency would face significant cutbacks, with the largest cuts coming from the Department of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development. With the government facing another shutdown deadline this Friday, the bill is expected to be passed by the House quickly (once again in violation of the Republicans’ 72-hour pledge) and approved by the Senate without any changes.

While a full-year budget bill is set for debate next, the 6-month CR is significant in that it will establish new baselines for program funding that will have long-lasting impacts on how the budget is conceived. The funding arc for military operations will continue to rise, but funding for almost all other government services will be on a downward trend. With the austerity mindset in the legislative process, it’s highly unlikely that any areas that see cuts or elimination under this bill will be restored any time soon.

While we work on getting the full legislative text on OpenCongress for you to review, here’s a small taste of what will be cut under the bill:

  • Funding for data transparency and civic engagement projects would re reduced by 75%. More from Sunlight Foundation.
  • Funding for new high speed rail projects would be eliminated and existing projects would be cut by $1.5 billion, more than 50%.
  • Community health centers would lose $600 million and sexually transmitted disease prevention funds would be reduced by $1 billion.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency would see an across-the-board 16% cut.
  • The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) would be cut by $500 million, from $7.3 billion to $6.8 billion.
  • The “Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan” (CO-OP) that was created by the new health care reform law to foster the creation of non-profit health insurers to compete with for-profit companies would be eliminated.
  • “Free Choice Vouchers,” another health care reform creation, would be eliminated. They wee designed to allow employees to opt out of the plan offered by their employer and shop for a plan they prefer while still receiving the employer’s contribution.

The above is just a tiny sliver of what’s in the bill. House Republicans have put out a list of cuts in the bill, but it doesn’t provide enough contextual information to for one to easily grasp the significance of specific items. Follow OpenCongress on Twitter for more reports/revelations throughout the day on what’s in the bill as it’s dug through.

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  • PleaseHelpTheUnemployed 04/12/2011 9:05am

    Ha!!! We have a bunch arrogant, ignorant, IDIOTS running this sorry A$$ country who made it the way it is!!!! Go sh&@ on yourselves!!!!

  • DeborahJBrown 04/13/2011 4:41am

    What I want to know is why does Congress and the House not de-funded their own pension funds? They are elected officials,not employees and should not receive such an “ENTITLEMENT” that they haven’t earned. Most government employees have to work at least 10 years on a job to be vested in a pension. Why is Congress excluded from this requirement? Each year outgoing Senators become eligible for pensions for life – literally thousands of Senators over the past several decades. More and more will join them with each new election. The cost of this life-time perk has got to be extraordinary. I would not be surprised if one day the cost of “perk” pensions exceeds the expense of the entire working government payroll.

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 04/13/2011 4:14pm


    I have heard of this pension and lifetime salary benefit as well, but good news is that it is not true. They do have generous pensions and retirements, but not lifetime after 1 year.


  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 04/13/2011 4:26pm

    WOW, that was definitely the wrong link. Sorry about that, here’s the right one:


  • eth111 04/14/2011 2:59am


    As fakk2 points out, the pension program for congressmen is not as lucrative as has been advertised, but your statement about perk pensions is absolutely correct. They are currently bankrupting municipalities all over the country just like they have bankrupted the companies that got forced into submission by the union/govt thugs. (This is not an a priori statement against unions, but what they have done in the last ~40 years).

    When people are allowed to retire with generous pensions that are guaranteed by their employer (whether that is a company or the tax-payers) after 20 years on the job with no age limitation, this is a setup for financial disaster. One of the last domestic steel companies to close was paying the equivalent of 5 salaries for every working employee because of this.

    I would not be surprised if the pensions outstrip payroll for fedzilla by the end of this decade.

  • dbrisinda 04/15/2011 8:59pm

    Deep cuts? Get real. They’ve just shuffled money around (removed it from some programs and added it to others), all the while increasing the total spending:

    2010 Outlays: $3,456 billion
    2011 Outlays: $3,633 billion (est.*)
    Total increase: $177 billion

    *Based on CBO estimates inclusive of $38 billion in spending “cuts”

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