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Posted at 4:15 PM ET, 02/15/2011

House moves forward on Republican plan to cut $61 billion

By Felicia Sonmez

Updated: 4:15 p.m.

The House on Tuesday voted to proceed on a Republican-led plan that would cut $61 billion in spending across the federal government through the end of the current fiscal year in September.

The mostly partly-line vote was 242 in favor and 174 opposed. Eight Democrats, including five members of the conservative Blue Dog Coalition, joined most Republicans in voting to proceed; they were Reps. Jason Altmire (Pa.), Dan Boren (Okla.), Larry Kissell (N.C.), Jim Matheson (Utah), Mike Michaud (Maine), Bill Owens (N.Y.), Ed Perlmutter (Colo.) and Mike Ross (Ark.).

The 20 other Blue Dogs present voted against proceeding, a sign that most conservative Democrats are likely to oppose the GOP-led plan when it comes up for a final vote on Thursday.

Fifteen lawmakers did not vote, and two Republican members -- Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) and Steve King (Iowa) -- voted "present."

More than 400 amendments to the funding resolution had been filed as of Monday night, with more likely on the way Tuesday. Not all of the amendments will be discussed on the floor, but the fact that so many have been offered makes the outlook for the rest of the week somewhat chaotic.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) appeared to embrace that unpredictability in remarks on the House floor ahead of Tuesday's vote.

"I'm ready to expect whatever," Boehner said of the process ahead.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that Senate Republicans are committed to the level of spending cuts that House GOP leaders have proposed for the current fiscal year, but may not endorse every detail of the House plan.

The government is currently being funded by a resolution passed by Congress late last year. That resolution is set to expire on March 4, meaning that the government will grind to a halt unless Congress agrees on a measure to continue funding it.

In a floor speech ahead of Tuesday's vote, King explained that he had asked the Rules Committee to ensure that his proposed amendment defunding the national health-care overhaul would be protected from any procedural points of order during the floor debate. But that request was rebuffed, King said, leading to his "present" vote.

"Even though I have great respect for all the members of the Rules Committee, and the tone and the tenor of the debate and dialogue in there could not have been better, the Rules Committee declined to do that, and I'm here on this floor now asking myself, 'how do I vote 'yes' on a rule that I so oppose?'" King said on the House floor.

Bachmann spokesperson Doug Sachtleben said that Bachmann "recognized Rep. King's right to offer that amendment, while also acknowledging that it was not made in order under House rules."

More importantly, Sachtleben added, Bachmann took issue with Democrats who passed the health-care overhaul last year and "designed its funding to come from mandatory sources instead of from the discretionary part of the budget, making it that much more difficult to defund this costly and unconstitutional legislation."

By Felicia Sonmez  | February 15, 2011; 4:15 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: McConnell: Senate Republicans may not endorse all specific House spending cuts
Next: House Republicans announce they'll include entitlement reform in 2012 budget


Come on, $61 billion on almost $2 trillion deficit? That is beyond pathetic.

Posted by: awells1902 | February 15, 2011 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Talk is big, where are the cuts?

Posted by: knjincvc | February 15, 2011 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Two thirds of U.S. Corporations paid no Federal income tax at all from 1998 - 2005 a 2008 study by the GAO shows:

Posted by: Bill_USA | February 15, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Apparently not satisfied with the damage done by the Trickle Down Disaster precipitated by the Deregulation Debacle, the Transformers now are mounting their second attack on America.

The Corporate Lobbyist Partiers who blew up a surplus and turned it into the highest deficit seen till then by funding two wars on debt and passing a large tax cut, 50% of which went to the wealthiest few percent of the population and who said "Deficits don't matter" have now transformed themselves into Deficit Hawks who NOW want to cut spending so much as to threaten investments in our country's future - investments in education, infrastructure and tomorrow's more efficient sustainable technologies. Without these investments the Transformers are jeopardizing America's future AND reducing our ability in the long run to pay off the enormous deficit THEY CREATED with their TRICKLE DOWN 'PROSPERITY' and their Dogma of DEREGULATION.

Recovering from the Trickle Down Disaster means we must have near term deficit spending and for the longer term we need to make the investments (now) to foster economic growth in the future to be able to afford the programs that are needed to address the challenges America must meet if we are to remain one of the leading nations of the world, as well as to be able to pay down the public debt.

The Republicans are again being duplicitous in their feigned concern for the deficit. Only a couple months ago they demanded continued tax cuts for those who can get along without them (and who, lacking an economic justification, never should not have gotten them in the first place, cf Bush tax cuts) as the price to provide sustaining Unemployment Benefits Extensions to millions of people thrown out of work by the Reckless Policies of these very Corporate Lobbyists, now transformed as Deficit Hawks.

Their real objective is to cut near term spending enough to kill off the incipient recovery stirring despite the Corporate Lobbyists successful effort to downsize the original stimulus (ARRA) by a third - as the price to be paid to keep them from killing (or delaying, which would have been the same thing) any stimulus at all.

Posted by: Bill_USA | February 15, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

It is time for some facts on corporate taxes.

The total of corporate income taxes in the US for 2012 is projected to be only 329 billion.

For context, Wall Street compensation in 2010 was 135 billion for only 25 publicly trade finance companies. Exxon alone in 2009 had profits of 30 billion on revenues of 383 billion. They paid no corporate income taxes in 2009

And we need to cut corporate income taxes?

Posted by: FoundingMother | February 15, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

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