Listen to Heart of America’s Radio program regarding the 2011 Budget Compromise, the cuts, the increases and who was the ultimate winner in the budget battle.
UPDATE ON BILL STATUS AT END.
Overall Spending Limit: The final CR will include a total of $1.049 trillion in funding, nearly $40 billion worth of reductions from last year’s (fiscal year 2010) levels.
Pretty amazing, considering President Obama only wanted to freeze spending and not engage in real cutting.
This includes the $12 billion in reductions previously approved by Congress and for this bill:
Program Cuts; $36.5 billion cut + $2 billion cut for 1 wk continuing resolution = $38.5 billion cut.
** $13 billion from funding for programs at the Departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services
** Over $1 billion in a cut across non-defense agencies
** $8 billion in cuts to our budget for State and Foreign Operations
** $630 million in earmarked transportation projects
** At least $2.5 billion in transportation funding
** $35 million by ending the Crop Insurance Good Performance Rebate
** $30 million for a job training program that was narrowly targeted at certain student loan processors
** $1.9 billion from Homeland Security
** $354 million in funding for an alternative engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was cut.
** $325 million was cut for production of and modifications to Boeing Co.’s C-17 military transport plane.
**$1.6 billion was cut from the EPA’s budget.
** $2.9 billion for funding of Obama’s pet project of a high-speed rail projects was reduced, wiping out funding for all such new projects and taking back money that remained unspent.
** $438 million from a Energy Department’s energy-efficiency and renewable-energy program.
** More than $1 billion would be cut from programs to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS, and viral hepatitis.
** $377 million cut from current levels on contributions to the United Nations.
** $433 million would be cut from the agriculture credit insurance fund.
**$3 billion cut from Agriculture, $64 million cut to Agricultural Research Service and $125.9 million cut from National Institute for Food and Agriculture.
** Only $1 billion for Food Safety and Inspection, which is $10 million below the fiscal year 2010 level, while allowing for uninterrupted meat, poultry, and egg products inspection activities of the agency.
** $10.9 billion reduction in Commerce, Justice, Science.
** $946 million cut for the Justice Department appropriations.
** $6.5 billion cut in the Commerce Department.
** $4.2 billion cut on Defense earmarks.
** $3.6 billion reduction in the Energy and Water section.
** $800 million reduces most Treasury and Executive Office of the President accounts and reduces funding for construction of new federal buildings.
** In addition, the bill terminates two programs funded in ObamaCare (the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) and the Free Choice Voucher programs.
** Over $1 billion from the Department of Education
Programs “protected” in the 2011 budget compromise.
** Current levels of Head Start and Race to the Top enrollment
** Pell Grant’s maximum award at $5,550.
** Title I grants leveled to districts at $14.5 billion, special education at $11.3 billion.
** Teacher Incentive Fund is level-funded at $400 million.
** Strong investments to efficiently and effectively run Medicare and to implement the Affordable Care Act
** Strong investments in National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Science Foundation and the Office of Science
** The bill also includes $18.5 billion for NASA and fully funds the newly authorized exploration program.
** The Department of Defense is funded at $513 billion in the CR – approximately $5 billion above last year and also includes an additional $157.8 billion for overseas contingency operations (emergency funding) to advance our missions abroad. However; some defense spending was cut (such as the 2nd F35 alternative engine and defense earmarks etc).
[The Defense section of this legislation includes $126.7 billion for military personnel, providing for 1,432,400 active duty and 846,200 reserve troops. In addition, the bill contains a total of $165.6 billion for operations and maintenance, $102.1 billion for procurement, $75 billion for research and development, and $31.4 billion for Defense health programs.]
** The CR restores a long-standing provision against the use of federal and local funds for abortions in the District of Columbia.
** All critical operations for DHS – including Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Transportation Security Agency, the Coast Guard, and the Secret Service are sufficiently funded to meet mission requirements and sustain staffing levels. This includes funding for 21,370 Border Patrol agents, 33,400 ICE detention beds, and military pay and allowances for the U.S. Coast Guard.
Program funding increases
** $13 million increase over last year for the Inspector General of Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to provide oversight of the billions of dollars remaining in TARP assets and continues current funding for drug task forces and programs to assist small businesses
** The CR also includes the reauthorization of the DC Opportunity Scholarships, along with a $2.3 million funding increase, to stop the termination of the program and allow new students to participate.
** The legislation also eliminates four Administration “Czars,” including the “Health Care Czar,” the “Climate Change Czar,” the “Car Czar,” and the “Urban Affairs Czar.” Cost savings; unknown.
** An Energy Department program to provide loan guarantees for renewable and alternative energy projects was spared. That means the Obama administration will be able to honor commitments such as a $967 million loan guarantee for a 290-megawatt Arizona solar power plant. First Solar Inc. is developing the solar farm and has agreed to sell it to NRG Energy Inc. The deal would have been scuttled without the loan guarantee.
** Plus, Head Start, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, got a boost of $340 million, bringing it to $7.57 billion.
** $100 million Educational Technology State grants, $19 million Literacy Through School Libraries and the $42 million Byrd Honors Scholarship made the cut. (The $88 million Smaller Learning Communities and $250 million Striving Readers program from 2010 remain unfunded).
Much speculation and discontent is being expressed by fiscal Republicans as they feel that the budget cuts presented (despite it being the largest budget cut in history) is too small.
I am getting a feeling that this budget could also reach a stalemate and so I am asking that the House of Representatives follow the Senate lead and bring HR 1297 to the House floor for an up/down vote to ensure that our military is paid in the event of a government shutdown.
There are some controversial measure that are still left to be discussed.
** Funding for NASA’s Constellation exploration program, courtesy of Alabama’s Senator Richard Shelby. This is an absolute MUST as Obama is trying to stop our space exploration and hitch rides with Russia at $60+ million/a seat.
ESPECIALLY since Virginia based Orbtial Science has failed 2 launches- one back in March 2011 and another in 2010 and Orbital Sciences is one of the private companies NASA is counting on to lift cargo to the International Space Station when the shuttles are retired. We MUST have a back up plan and keeping NASA’S Constellation exploration program opened and funded is essential to ensure our lead in Space.
**California has posed serious restrictions on water usage and now they are wanting to limit the water usage again to preserve some fish species.
I dont live in California but have many friends who do that say that the water restrictions are creating a problem for people, California needs to look into a healthy balance. Why is this even being placed in the 2011 budget, this is a state issue.
** A program designed to prevent the spread of HIV and other diseases common among IV drug users is in the works of whether to fund them in DC and other states.
Considering that HIV and AIDS does not have a cure, if there is a preventive procedure available to lessen the possibility of an outbreak then, by all means, we should look into funding it on a federal level. The states cannot afford any additional financial stress.
** Homeowners associations want to apply for federal grants for pool and spa safety programs. THIS IS A WASTE OF TAX PAYER MONEY. Homeowners associations can take necessary measures to ensure that there pools and spas are safe for everyone without getting federal funding for it. This measure needs to be opposed.
** Environmental issues range from waiving the price cap for the federal government when it purchases a green vehicle (a price cap should hardly ever be waived, I support a tax credit but that is for everyone not just the federal government).
There are also several clean air provisions, beyond the EPA and CO2 measures that were not included in the broader bill (I support the Clean Air Act because I enjoy breathing in clean air as well as a provision that would exempt some ponds and creeks, particularly on farms, from being subject to the EPA’s “Navigable Waterways” restrictions.
Here’s hoping that we can reach an agreement to the 2011 budget so we can start focusing on the 2012 budget (which is for a much longer period of time as the 2011 budget runs out September 30, 2011 [funding for a little over 5 months] and the 2012 budget appropriations and get started on our talks of NOT raising the debt ceiling and bringing (S. 163 and H.R. 421), The Full Faith & Credit Act which ensures that our debtors are paid if we do not raise the debt ceiling.
In the meantime, dont forget to contact your Representative and ask them to bring HR 1297, Ensuring our Military is Paid Act to the floor for an up/down vote to ensure that our military is paid and to keep our mission operational despite a possible government shutdown on April 15th.
**This list contains highlighted program cuts. This list is not comprehensive of all program funding levels in the legislation. In addition, the totals DO NOT reflect the overall across the board cut of 0.2% to all non-defense programs.**
For a list of additional highlighted cuts, please click HERE.
UPDATE ON BILL STATUS:
The 2011 Budget Compromise passed the House 260 to 167 and passed the Senate 81 to 19.
Also voted on was the controversial plan to end Title X funding for reproductive health care, money that Republicans complained goes predominately to Planned Parenthood as well as defunding the health care law implemented last year.
Although it passed the House it was defeated in the Senate 42 to 58.
The amendment to defund health care reform was rejected 47 to 53.
Next up, the 2012 budget and the vote to raise the debt ceiling, two more highly charged congressional debates.