Paul Ryan to lock in cap on discretionary spending 

House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is expected to enter into the congressional record a cap on discretionary spending as promised by House Republcians prior to the election. From National Journal:

The cuts will be part of legislation, which will be unveiled as soon as Thursday, that will fund the remainder of the fiscal year. The current continuing resolution expires March 4, and the House is expected to vote on the Appropriations Committee package next week.

House Republicans pledged during the run-up to the midterm elections to roll back nonsecurity discretionary spending to levels equivalent to fiscal 2008, which amounts to roughly $100 billion less than requested in President Obama’s fiscal 2011 budget. The $1.055 trillion represents a $73.6 billion cut from Obama’s request, according to House Appropriations Committee data.

Ryan and other Republicans have promised more cuts in the future.

What's most remarkable about this, however, is that they had to get a rule that would allow the chairman to set such a cap. By placing a spending limit out of reach of those who would want to tear it down, Republicans hope the rule will stick. Rep. Hal Rogers, who became chairman of the appropriations committee despite general concern about his willingness to appropriate, is also tearing into spending:

Under the spending plan unveiled last week by Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., $42.6 billion would be cut from nonsecurity discretionary spending, while $7.6 billion would be added to security spending, for a net cut of $34.98 billion from current levels.

One can't help but wonder when they're going to start making excuses for ramping that spending back up.

About The Author

J.P. Freire

J.P. Freire is the associate editor of commentary. Previously he was the managing editor of the American Spectator. Freire was named journalist of the year for 2009 by the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). You can follow him on Twitter here. Besides the Spectator, Freire's work has appeared in... more
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