Freshmen Squeeze GOP, Wring Out $100B in Cuts

Freshman lawmakers drive changes
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2011 7:14 AM CST
Freshman Squeeze GOP, Wring Out $100B in Cuts
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio leaves a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

House Republicans have toughened their budget proposals, after some cajoling from freshman lawmakers: They emerged from last night's meeting with the news that they'll seek $100 billion in cuts, Politico reports. Lawmakers from the 87-member strong freshman class pushed the changes, calling for $100 billion in cuts immediately—not over the course of the fiscal year. “The freshmen want to make sure that this is a Congress that can earn the respect of the people that sent them here,” said Majority Leader Eric Cantor. "And that means to deliver on your promises and that’s what we do by this bill."

The the $100 billion stop-gap proposal cuts $84 billion in domestic spending and $16 in defense spending. Republicans say this won’t affect the troops, but it may meet with opposition from others in the party who say they'll only vote for a measure that trims the new health care law. And such deep cuts aren’t likely to survive the Senate. Still, House Republicans say they’re making “history.” “The level of cuts here have not taken place in Congress since World War II,” said Cantor. “That’s how big these cuts are, OK?”
(More House Republicans stories.)

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