Republican House members are targeted the Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services departments for 20 percent spending reductions in the coming year on top of sequester cuts made in March.
According to Politico
, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers is asking for the larger cuts in the three departments to alleviate spending reductions to other budget categories he considers vital, including the military, homeland security, and law enforcement.
For example, the Kentucky Republican is pushing a 6 percent increase in spending to $512.5 billion for the Defense Department, while trimming back the spending in domestic categories the White House considers important.
The fear among some lawmakers, according to Politico, is that Rogers' proposals could increase the likelihood of another stalemate if Congress and the White House get serious again about negotiating a deficit-reducing budget deal.
Under Rogers' proposal, the spending cap for Labor, Education, and HHS would be $121.8 billion next year, about $28 billion lower than estimates for post-sequestration appropriations. Cuts to the departments of Agriculture, Homeland Security, and Veteran Affairs would be much more moderate.
"This is clearly an austere budget year; sequestration has taken a huge toll on discretionary spending," Rogers said in a statement. "This is the hand that sequestration has dealt us, and we have no choice but to try and make the best of what we have.
"It is my sincere hope that the House and Senate can come together on a sustainable budget compromise to replace sequestration and establish a responsible, single House and Senate top-line discretionary budget number," he added.
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