Deep budget cuts planned by House GOP

House Republicans have pushed forward to slash cuts for domestic programs far deeper than the cuts departments like Education, Interior and State are facing under sequestration. Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs and the Pentagon would be spared under the plan approved by the House Appropriations Committee on a party-line vote.

At issue are the deep agency budget cuts required under sequestration. This year, the cuts are being applied to both domestic agencies and the Pentagon. The new plan put forth Tuesday is for the 2014 budget year which starts October 1.  It restores cuts to the military while making even deeper cuts to the domestic programs that are favored by Democrats.

The plan focuses its biggest cuts on a huge domestic spending bill that funds aid to local school districts, health research and enforcement of labor laws. Congress’s budget would be untouched, however. House GOP leaders opted against cuts to their own budget, and  upon inspection, the plan states that the House would get a 1.6 percent budget increase when measured against current levels.

The foreign aid budget would be sharply cut as well, while a bill funding the IRS budget and implementation of new financial regulations would absorb a 20 percent cut from levels approved just two months ago.

“This is going to be a tough year,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky. “The guillotine of sequestration has fallen, and I think we all agree that its consequences have been, and will continue to be, very harmful.”

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