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Posted at 2:26 PM ET, 01/ 6/2011

House passes budget cut for committees and legislative offices

By Felicia Sonmez

The House on Thursday passed a measure that would cut committee and legislative office budgets by five percent or more, making good on a pledge by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to cut as much as $35 million from Congress' total operating budget.

The measure passed on a 410-to-13 vote, with 177 Democrats joining all Republicans in voting in favor. Thirteen Democrats voted no, and 11 members did not vote. Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.), the chairman of the Committee on House Administration, sponsored the measure.

The resolution will cut the budgets of House committee and the 435 legislative offices by five percent. The House Appropriations Committee will get a nine-percent cut, which was requested by Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) Rogers advocated earlier this week that "budget cuts should start here and now -- in our own offices."

The measure required a two-thirds vote for passage.

Rogers heralded the resolution in a floor statement Thursday.

"The one and only mandate we received from the American people in November was to put our economy and jobs first. ... Our budget axe will swing wide and true, and no area of the federal government will be immune from our scrutiny and cuts. Sacred cows are, for all intents and purposes, extinct," Rogers said.

By Felicia Sonmez  | January 6, 2011; 2:26 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

The US government is a monopoly of its currency. If they don't print it there is no money. They tax us to control population, spending power, and who gets the money. The gov't must run a defecit in order to allow economy to run smoothly. Excessive spending causes the hyperinflation like we have here now. The gov't will never go broke and they do not rely on tax revenues or one penny borrowed from china or any other country from the sale of treasury securities to finance this country! They offer bonds to anyone to drain excess reserves and to control the overnight loan interest rates.

The reason why America imports more than they export is because exports are real cost and imports are real benefits. The down side to this is the loss of high paying manufacturing jobs. When the US gov't started forcing outsourcing in the 1960's they knew this and they lied and said other equal waged jobs would definitely replace lost jobs!

The value of US currency is determined by what the gov't demands private sector must do or sell to obtain it. The more unemployed (welfare, forced involuntary unemployment,etc.), the less value the dollar has. Unemployment equals less output. The true debt we and future generations will have to pay is the lost output and depreciated human capital!

The US congress, bush and current administration conspired with select corporations and the commercial banking, finance, and investment systems to steal trillions of dollars from hard working taxpayer's retirement accounts overnight. The US congress and both administrations compounded theft by rewarding the same select groups trillions of dollars under the guise these institutions were to important to allow them to fail and they would inject money back into economy. The US congress and administration are aware that these recipients have only compensated themselves, speculated in markets (preparing to rob American's again in 2011), and purchased more wealth with that money!

Because of the excessive theft/spending by US congress and administration they have incorporated forced involuntary unemployment forcing millions of hard working taxpayers into poverty and despair! This includes the millions who despite working two or three jobs can't accumulate a forty hour week let alone pay their bills! All DONE ABSOLUTELY UNNECESSARY!

If the US congress and administration don't end forced involuntary unemployment and charge all those involved in these crimes immediately they must be TERMINATED IMMEDIATELY!

Posted by: tmajor1 | January 7, 2011 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Come on people!!! It's just symbolic!! They even said it was symbolic to show that they would START with cutting their own budgets before cutting other programs. I realize it is just a drop in the ocean but it is hopefully the start of real fiscal responsibility. Why don't we give them a chance BEFORE we start tearing them apart?

Posted by: VaBroker | January 7, 2011 1:04 PM | Report abuse

"The one and only mandate we received from the American people in November was to put our economy and jobs first. ... Our budget axe will swing wide and true, and no area of the federal government will be immune..."

Harold Rogers apparently believes that cutting federal spending stimulates the economy and job growth. This is false, of course, because the 5% spent by congressional committees and offices represents income for someone else - catering companies, taxi drivers, staffers and legislative assistants, etc. This is Econ 101.

Posted by: WorldCup | January 7, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

It is incredible that they think everyone is a stupid as they are. However, there are those that will think that this will save the country. What a joke

Posted by: lucky14 | January 7, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

It is incredible that they think everyone is a stupid as they are. However, there are those that will think that this will save the country. What a joke

Posted by: lucky14 | January 7, 2011 12:33 PM | Report abuse

why not a 5% decrease in the bottom line budget numbers for ALL departments and agengies? let the department heads figure out where to do the trimmimg to meet the bottom line.

just by trimming redundant programs and positions, per diems, milage reimbursements and repairing , rather than replacing vehicles, the cost cutting could be met w/o any decrease in the quality of service provided.

Posted by: boblesch | January 7, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

This is all cosmetic for show & tell time. We need deep cuts in defense. Face it the military is useless as proved by:

-9-11
-Shoe Bomber
-World Trade Center Bombing
-Underwear Guy
-Times Square Guy

We can have a very tiny military and if needed we can build if a larger force is necessary. The military has too many useless toys and before we end up like the Soviet Union we need to scale back now! We cannot be the welfare provider for the world.

Posted by: Maddogg | January 7, 2011 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Now how much has that budget increased over the past year, 5 years, 10 years?
Show us a REAL cut in congressional retirement, health care and first-class travel expenses. That would show SOME progress.
Another big help would be a daily, easily-search-able, online database posting of every meeting between a member or aide and a lobbyist (and who they represent). Then we will get a better idea of who owns Congress.

Posted by: pjohn2 | January 7, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

America, we are in serious trouble. Both political parties are playing us for fools. Both are bought and paid for by Wall Street and the Banks. They are masters at keeping us fighting each other like crabs in a pot, while they cater to the lobbyists and help the rich get richer. Currently, Congress and Obama should be investigating the mortgage securities corruption that has taken place on Wall Street, that has resulted in millions of families being foreclosed on. The banks (mainly JP Morgan Chase, and Bank of America) have swindled the taxpayers, investers, government and homeowners out of billions of dollars and NOT one executive has been criminally prosecuted! By the way, the new Chief of Staff, William Daley is an executive with J.P Morgan Chase & Co., one of the major banksters.

Posted by: awesomelm | January 7, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Republicans are bought and paid for by the Corporate Lobbyists. But, they are good at fooling Americans into thinking that they are about the Small Business man; but, they are really for the congolmerates and monopolies that are wealthy beyond imagination. However, after Obama's choice for Chief of Staff yesterday (William Daley), it is obvious that he is bought and paid for by the banks, also.

Posted by: awesomelm | January 7, 2011 9:49 AM | Report abuse

They should be eliminating all lobbyists and maintaining adequate staff. This means members will depend even more on lobbyists for information, big mistake, but then the GOP is a bunch of corporate wh0re$ so...no surprises.

Posted by: greeenmtns | January 7, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Does this 5% include their salaries and perks?

Posted by: lddoyle2002 | January 7, 2011 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to be BLUNT...we are in trouble and I don't see much hope. As long as corporate America owns our government we the middle class will be facing hard times. And, the Republican party agenda is Big Business's agenda. Heck, both parties are brought and paid for!!!!

Posted by: noneckmd | January 7, 2011 8:16 AM | Report abuse

5%???

15% would have demonstrated a serious attack on the deficit.

5% is merely pocket change.

Posted by: segeny | January 7, 2011 7:25 AM | Report abuse

WOW! FIVE PERCENT!!! They're on a roll!

Posted by: DGSPAMMAIL | January 7, 2011 5:47 AM | Report abuse

If this has any effect at all on Congress it will be toward weakening the people's voice in Washington. The multimillionaire-interest lobbyists would like nothing more than a raft of such changes to congress that would further strengthen their hands. They would like term limits so that the people's representatives never gain expertise to oppose them. They would like to reduce congressional compensation so that only rich people could afford to serve.

Posted by: Tenmile1 | January 7, 2011 4:37 AM | Report abuse

If this has any effect at all on Congress it will be toward weakening the people's voice in Washington. The multimillionaire-interest lobbyists would like nothing more than a raft of such changes to congress that would further strengthen their hands. They would like term limits so that the people's representatives never gain expertise to oppose them. They would like to reduce congressional compensation so that only rich people could afford to serve.

Posted by: Tenmile1 | January 7, 2011 4:36 AM | Report abuse

If this has any effect at all on Congress it will be toward weakening the people's voice in Washington. The multimillionaire-interest lobbyists would like nothing more than a raft of such changes to congress that would further strengthen their hands. They would like term limits so that the people's representatives never gain expertise to oppose them. They would like to reduce congressional compensation so that only rich people could afford to serve.

Posted by: Tenmile1 | January 7, 2011 4:35 AM | Report abuse

Most countries continue to increase political wages to reduce corruption. In the US we go the opposite way.

The most likely outcome will be that the political candidates who are not millionaires will be less likely to run for office since they can make more in the private sector and don’t have the hundreds of millions which are now required to run a campaign.

If you want to take money out of politics spare us the 5% congressional budget cuts and completely abolish campaign contributions and campaign spending all together. Lobbying should be classified as corruption and as treated as so through criminal prosecution. To be elected, a candidate can’t appear in a single TV ad or hand out a single flyer. The only way to get out their platform will be through sponsored televised debates (so corporations can feel like they still control the process) and actually going out and meeting the voters.

Posted by: Southeasterner | January 6, 2011 11:58 PM | Report abuse


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Posted by: itkonlyyou440 | January 6, 2011 9:35 PM | Report abuse

The 5% cut -- it's theater.

Let's get meaningful. Want to cut discretionary spending back to that of 2008? Start with the Congress.

Members, voluntarily reduce total compensation (salary plus fringe benefits) to the 2008 amount. Commit to staying at that level unless and until there is "full employment" and a balanced budget (this means that the debt is reduced by at least one dollar) each year. This would be meaningful and would align the Members' financial interests with the wishes of the American people.

Reduce office staff budgets and staff compensation to the levels in 2008, and commit to keeping them there until there is "full employment" and a balanced budget.

And, I'm disillusioned. I believed GOPleaders and Members when they said that they had learned and heard the American people about balancing the budget. But today I see them back in Alive in Wonderland land and doing funny accounting. Somehow a loss of revenue and an increase in outlays (Yes, tax deductions and tax credits are outlays) don't have to be paid for by increases in revenue or cuts elsewhere. That's living in Alive's wonderland and practicing funny accounting. Get real -- what counts is what increases or decreases the amount we have to borrow from our Chinese bankers. They should be smiling today as the House moves to cede to them ever more control over us.


Posted by: jimb | January 6, 2011 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Five will get you ten the majority of any real reductions will fall on Democratic members. That's what happened the last time Republicans took over the Congress.

Posted by: olroy | January 6, 2011 6:19 PM | Report abuse

The REpublicans are showing class here by cutting their own Budget.....Pelosi awarded herself a 747 Jet....what a joke.

Posted by: Realist201 | January 6, 2011 5:58 PM | Report abuse

After analyzing the 5% cut, I've come to the conclusion it's BS.

Posted by: richard13423 | January 6, 2011 5:44 PM | Report abuse

After analyzing the 5% cut, I've come to the conclusion it's BS.

Posted by: richard13423 | January 6, 2011 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Why not just cut the congressional budgets 100% and have our congressman setup shop on K street... and rent their congressional offices out completely??? If you think about it... we have the lobbyist sodomizing this country anyway... Those "elected" GOP politicians are just a technicality anyway.
But seriously... This is clearly a way to get lobbyist more entrenched in DC... Talk about job security.

Posted by: IrishGringo | January 6, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanx for making that very important point, gilliardc.

Well done. :)

Posted by: captainkona | January 6, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Cut it by 5%, so that they can get rid of their Congressional Aide's and bring in their Lobbyist instead.

Who needs an Aide when I can have the "real deal" like a Corporate Lobbyist.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | January 6, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Did someone forget to mention that the 5% cut only amounts to .001% of the Congressional budget of $350,000,000? This is just another piece of useless and deceitful gop smoke and mirrors.

Posted by: gilliardc | January 6, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

"Sorry Teabbager tools"

EXACTLY!

Biggest idiots in the nation. Mr. Tan-in-a-Can and the Bonerettes are already planning to add 1 Trillion to the deficit over the next decade.

If I was a Teabagger I'd make like Judas and find a suitable place to hang myself in shame.

Posted by: captainkona | January 6, 2011 3:40 PM | Report abuse

This works out perfectly for the Boner led Republican House. Now they can bring in the people (multimillionaire lobbyists) who have always dictated their policies anyway.

Sorry Teabbager tools, you've been thrown under the bus again, but hey, don't forget to vote Republican in 2012! Because you were going to anyway, right?

.

Posted by: DrainYou | January 6, 2011 3:12 PM | Report abuse

This works out perfectly for the Boner led Republican House. Now they can bring in the people (multimillionaire lobbyists) who have always dictated their policies anyway.

Sorry Teabbager tools, you've been thrown under the bus again, but hey, don't forget to vote Republican in 2012! Because you were going to anyway, right?

.

Posted by: DrainYou | January 6, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

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