Congress Accepts Very Few of Obama's Proposed Cuts

by Adam Hughes*, 8/18/2009

U.S. CongressWith the release of his detailed budget information in May, President Obama proposed cutting or scaling back 121 programs that would save the government $17 billion in FY 2010 - a very small first step in getting the budget deficit under control. Yesterday, CongressDaily published an article that examined the degree to which Congress accepted Obama's proposed cuts and the results are underwhelming.

The analysis ($) found Congress has proposed eliminating 11 of the 48 non-military, discretionary programs Obama had identified for cuts. This would save a nominal $411 million during the next fiscal year, which represents only 2.4 percent of Obama's overall proposed cuts. Obama made much better progress by cutting just one military program (the F-22 fighter jet - which will save $2.9 billion next year) from the House Defense Appropriations bill.

Of course, none of these cuts have been finalized yet. The House has passed all 12 of its appropriations bills but the Senate still has eight left to finish, including the defense bill. Both chambers then need to conference the differences for each bill and pass them a final time before Obama could sign them into law. This still leaves plenty of opportunities to cut additional programs or perhaps add back in funding for one or more of these 11 programs slated to be cut. While that is unlikely, stranger things have happened in Congress.

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