Rep. Lungren threatens to quit conservative bloc if members' budgets are slashed 

The Republican Study Committee is the bloc of conservatives in the House. After the House GOP agreed to a 5 percent reduction in the operational allowance for member and committee offices, the RSC's chairman Jim Jordan has proposed further cuts. RSC member Dan Lungren, however, is chairman of the Committee on House Administration, and he says no. Here's a bit from his public "Dear Colleague" letter:

This amendment would severely restrict the U.S. Capitol Police’s ability to secure the Capitol complex by slashing its budget 11%.  A cut of this magnitude would force Capitol Police to face today’s ever-growing security threats with significantly fewer resources and officers. 

The Amendment would also hamper the House’s ability to conduct effective oversight and impede on Members’ ability to serve their constituents by cutting committee and Member budgets an additional 11% on top of the 5% cut adopted last month.

But on the heels of this letter, Lungren's chief of staff sent out a more pointed email to other GOP chiefs of staff [emphasis added]:

Dear Chief:

I want to bring to your attention the real effect Amendment #104 will have on all of our budgets....

As the person responsible for managing my Member’s MRA, I tightened our belts and reduced our spending to meet the initial 5% cut, but I cannot afford to cut this additional $155,000 for a total of $230,000 without having to severely reduce our constituent services and vital communications, notwithstanding the fact I will have to look at terminating staff.  In fact, if this amendment passes, the first thing I will have to do is cut our dues to groups like the RSC.

 That Chief email is a bit more pointed, no? Sounds to me like a thinly-veiled threat: slash my budget, and we'll quit the RSC.

Also, are Republican congressmen really averse to making staff layoffs in order to cut spending? If so, it's another sign they're not serious about spending.

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Timothy P. Carney

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