By Sara Wyant
© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.
WASHINGTON, April 11 – After reaching a deal Friday night on the largest spending cut in American history, one thing became perfectly clear: Few lawmakers new exactly what line item provisions were included in the far-reaching compromise. Staff members worked throughout the weekend to fill in details of a plan that will cut $78.5 billion below the President’s 2011 budget proposal and $38.5 billion from federal spending. The short-term resolution that keeps the government running through Thursday will cut the first $2 billion of the total savings.
Sources told Agri-Pulse that more details should be available later on Monday, but a few emerged over the weekend. In a blog this weekend, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer wrote:
“We were able to cut $35 million by ending the Crop Insurance Good Performance Rebate, which gives successful farmers, who have no claims, a rebate for insurance premiums already subsidized by the federal government.
“The two sides agreed to cut $13 billion from funding for programs at the Departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services as well as over $1 billion in a cut across non-defense agencies, forcing everyone to tighten their belt. There will be reductions to housing assistance programs and some health care programs along with $8 billion in cuts to our budget for State and Foreign Operations.” Pfeiffer wrote. Other cuts include $630 million in earmarked transportation projects, at least $2.5 billion in transportation funding, $30 million for a job training program that was “narrowly targeted at certain student loan processors and $18 billion in cuts deemed unnecessary by the Pentagon.”
Pfeffer said the White House was “able to stop Republican efforts to defund the Affordable Care Act as well as Planned Parenthood and international family planning programs. They also wanted to limit funding for the establishment of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and block the Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing clean air and water rules. While we made significant cuts, we just couldn’t afford to cut these important programs that are critical to our nation.’
According to Speaker Boehner’s office, the compromise reached with Senate Democrats and the White House includes the following:
· Guarantees a Senate debate and vote on legislation that would repeal President Obama’s government takeover of health care in its entirety. The House passed such legislation in January as part of the Pledge to America.
· Requires numerous studies that will force the Obama Administration to reveal the true impact of the law’s mandates, including a study of how individuals and families will see increased premiums as a result of certain Obamacare mandates; a full audit of all the waivers that the Obama Administration has given to firms and organizations – including unions - who can't meet the new annual coverage limits; a full audit of what's happening with the comparative effectiveness research funding that was in Obamacare and the president’s failed “stimulus” spending bill; and a report on all of the contractors who have been hired to implement the law and the costs to taxpayers of such contracts.”
· Stops increased funding to the IRS that could be used to hire additional agents to enforce the administration’s agenda on a variety of issues. This increased funding is denied in the agreement.
· Guarantees a Senate debate and vote on legislation that would end federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
· Includes a complete ban on local and federal funding of abortion in the District of Columbia, applying the pro-life principles of the Hyde Amendment (“D.C. Hyde”).
Watch for more updates on the spending package later today on www.Agri-Pulse.com