On Capitol Hill today, House Budget Committee staffers briefed reporters about Chairman Paul Ryan's plans for the nation's budget for the rest of fiscal year 2011.
The current continuing resolution -- the bill that funds the government -- runs out on March 4, 2011. That leaves seven more months for fiscal year 2011, which ends on Sept. 30, 2011.
In their "Pledge to America" unveiled during the 2010 midterms, Republicans promised that in their first year, they would cut $100 billion from the nation's budget.
With common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops, we will roll back government spending to prestimulus, pre-bailout levels, saving us at least $100 billion in the first year alone and putting us on a path to begin paying down the debt, balancing the budget, and ending the spending spree in Washington that threatens our children’s future.Due to the fact that the current continuing resolution, that was written by Democrats, runs out on March 4, they plan on pro-rating that $100 billion dollar number to $58 billion in non-security savings from the money President Obama asked for in the 2011 fiscal year budget. (In other words, the $58 billion in savings applies equals 7/12 of the fiscal year that they say the GOP is in charge of, and it doesn't include money for security/military needs.)
However, when taking a closer look at the budget numbers, the actual savings found in the GOP plan equals $32 billion.
The Obama administration did not get its desired budget in the current continuing resolution that is funding the government through fiscal year 2011.
If the current continuing resolution is extended, the amount of money used to fund the government for fiscal year 2011 is $1.087 trillion. The House GOP proposed budget is for $1.055 trillion dollars. $1.087 minus $1.055 equals $32 billion.
Ryan has responded that the House GOP will find $74 billion in discretionary savings "relative to President Obama's budget request." But the problem with that is that Obama's request is not the actual budget.
Many conservative House Republicans have asked that the $100 billion dollars in savings promised in the "Pledge to America" happen in fiscal year 2011. The GOP Leadership essentially conceded today that that is unlikely to occur, given the fact that the GOP had no control over the budget for the first five months of fiscal year 2011.
GOP leadership aides are quick to point out that that budget will go to the floor under an open rule, in which members may have a chance to add amendments that would cut more.
The fact that the savings only amount to $32 billion -- and not $100 billion -- is going to surely upset many conservative Tea Party members.
What a surprise the GOP cannot make good on their campaign promises to cut $100 billion from the budget.