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The Season of Cutting as Budget Wrangling Begins

Photo: aoc.gov

It’s that time of the year again. Lawmakers and government officials, who are gathering round the budget-drafting table came prepared with the tool du jour — scissors.

Late last week, the House Appropriations Committee released a $1.055 trillion draft of a spending blueprint, representing a 9 percent cut in nondefense discretionary spending, according to Federal Times.

Those spending reductions could see some agencies, such as the Transportation Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development facing budget slashes of up to 17 percent, Federal Times reported.

The Commerce and Justice departments face reductions of 16 percent. Under the proposed blueprint, Congress would be subject to a 2 percent reduction in its budget.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said the cuts were “necessary and long overdue.”

Aside from the the broad percentage cuts, specifics on how further cuts will be distributed across federal agencies will take clearer shape when, as most observers expect, Congress votes to fund the government with another continuing resolution when the current stopgap spending measure exhausts itself March 4.

Meanwhile, the House Budget Committee, under the chairmanship of recent State of the Union response-deliverer Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), released a draft budget that would increase spending defense spending, but at lower amounts than that requested by the department and the White House, Military Times reported.

The Ryan plan also calls for a 2 percent reduction in veterans and military construction programs from the administration’s request. Overall, Military Times reported military and veterans programs would “do fairly well under Ryan’s plan.”

But, with a Democratic Senate and president, it’s clear this is only the beginning of the budget wrangling.

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