The House Republican leadership upped the ante Thursday in the ongoing debate over the size and scope of the federal budget, unveiling a proposal to cut spending by $375 billion over the next five years.
The bulk of the GOP’s proposed savings would come from capping nondefense discretionary spending at the level of inflation. Among other things, the GOP proposal would also create a government spending review commission and eliminate retirement payments for federal workers who retire before the age of 62. President Obama “challenged us to come up with budget savings, and today House Republicans encourage him to not only look over our proposed … common-sense taxpayer savings, but to join our effort,” House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, said in a statement. “For the sake of our young people and America’s long-term fiscal viability, Congress simply cannot keep spending money that the president himself admits we don’t have.”
Republicans rip Obama for insufficient budget cuts
Commentary: Republicans must move to center
Obama asked congressional Republicans to propose new budget reductions during an April 24 meeting at the White House. In May, the administration proposed $17 billion in cuts from the more than $3.4 trillion in spending approved for next year. Democratic congressional leaders have said that Obama’s proposed reductions are only the start of a long budget review process. They have also argued that more short-term spending is needed to help stimulate a weak economy. Under the current budget plan, the federal government will run an anticipated deficit of $1.2 trillion in the next fiscal year.