WASHINGTON — The Republican-led House will push for spending cuts in the next fiscal year that will be deeper than they promised voters in last year's congressional elections, says Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who is leading the effort.
"If people think we're afraid of cutting $100 billion, they've got another thing coming," House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said Thursday. "That's just a down payment."
Ryan's comments come one day after he and other Republicans said they would not reach their target of $100 billion in immediate cuts, prompting conservative complaints that they were not living up to their campaign promises.
Story continues below video.
Rep. Ryan: Budget Cuts Ahead Just the Beginning. Jan. 6, 2010 — The Republican-led House will push for deeper spending cuts than promised, says Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. At a National Press Club event in Washington, D.C., the Wisconsin Republican also called Obamacare a huge deficit-increaser.
Republicans had promised before the November elections to roll back federal spending to 2008 levels, which would mean a reduction of $100 billion from the $1.34 trillion budget Obama proposed last year.
Ryan said the actual cuts would amount to only $60 billion because the fiscal year will be nearly halfway through by the time funding runs out in March. They also will need to cut less because the government is operating at a level at least $20 billion below what Obama proposed.
Ryan, who will outline the cuts in the coming weeks, declined to say which areas of the government would be affected. Republicans have said spending on the military, veterans and homeland security will be exempt.
On another issue, Ryan said he will push for legislation paring back the Federal Reserve's mandate to focus solely on controlling inflation, not ensuring full employment.
Republicans have made no secret of their desire to impose more limits on the U.S. central bank and have been critical of it on a number of scores, including its plan to buy an additional $600 billion in government bonds to try to speed up a sluggish economic recovery.
Opponents of that action, including a number of Republican lawmakers, say the program risks weakening the U.S. dollar and sowing the seeds of inflation without doing much to lift economic growth and lower unemployment.
The Fed has a dual mandate to keep inflation curbed and at the same time it promotes full employment, but Republicans in both the House and the Senate have pledged that they will try to change that.
Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana has said he intends to introduce legislation in the House to narrow the Fed's mandate to keeping inflation at bay. Sen. Bob Corker, an influential Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, has also backed the shift.
When Pence and Corker announced their support for changing the mandate last year, a Fed spokeswoman said the central bank was not seeking a change and that the dual mandate is appropriate.
© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.