Spending deal revealed: What got cut to avoid a government shutdown?
The spending deal to avoid a government shutdown had been agreed to last Friday, but the details of the $39 billion in cuts were not released until Tuesday.
The Environmental Protection Agency will lose $1.6 billion in funding, a 16 percent reduction from last year. Agriculture programs are being cut by $3 billion. President Obama will lose $1.5 billion out of his new $8 billion high-speed rail initiative. And for the first time, the Department of Homeland Security faces a budget cut, to the tune of $784 million, or 2 percent below 2010’s level.Skip to next paragraph
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It’s all in the fine print of the House Appropriations Committee roster of budget cuts, released Tuesday. The total $38.5 billion reduction from 2010 levels was the headline late Friday, following a last-minute budget deal that averted a government shutdown. Now the details are coming out.
But even as Democrats lament the spending reductions – some to a point where they will vote against the deal – the bottom line could have been a whole lot worse for those who support federally funded programs. For example:
- Funding for the preschool program Head Start will be increased by about $300 million, to $7.6 billion. Funding for Pell Grants, which aid low-income college students, and the president’s “Race to the Top” education initiative was preserved.
- The Food and Drug Administration got an increase in funding, to $2.45 billion. The federal food inspection program faces only a $10 million cut, far less than what Republicans wanted.
- Two programs funded under health-care reform – the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan and the Free Choice Voucher program – were eliminated, but funding to implement the reform was spared. Money to implement the new financial regulatory reform was also spared.