House's frenzy of budget cuts: defund military bands, ban White House repairs
There's still no federal budget for 2011, so House members are trying to come up with a stopgap 'continuing resolution' with billions in cuts. What to cut? House members are making hundreds of proposals this week.
With the clock ticking toward a March 4 deadline, House Republicans and the Obama administration are engaged in a budget ritual all too familiar in Washington: having failed to pass a budget for the full year, they’re scrambling to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year via a stopgap “continuing resolution.”Skip to next paragraph
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Without a new continuing resolution by March 4, the government will have to shut down. No checks issued for Social Security pensioners and veterans. Gates slammed shut at national parks. Government scientists hanging up their lab coats.
So this week, members of the House are trying to finish work on a continuing resolution for the rest of fiscal year 2011, which ends in September. Complicating matters is House Republicans' goal to make the continuing resolution $100 billion cheaper than the fiscal year 2011 budget offered by President Obama a year ago but never passed. To this end, they are offering some 400 amendments – the proverbial legislative sausage-making.
The amendments range from the sweeping to the minuscule.
Rep. Ron Paul (R) of Texas would do away with the entire foreign aid budget. Rep. Betty McCollum (D) of Minnesota would ban the Defense Department from sponsoring NASCAR vehicles, or from spending more than $200 million (pocket change in federal budgeting) on “military bands, musical equipment or musical performance.”
Others make political statements far beyond the funding in question. One House GOP budget provision for FY 2011 would cut off funding for implementation of the new health-care reform law.