The Biggest Cuts in the Budget Deal

When the White House, the Senate, and House Republicans all agreed Friday night on a spending compromise to avoid shutting down the federal government and shave $38.5 billion from last year's spending levels, they didn't lay out on all the details; rather, they came up with a "framework" for how much should be cut, and generally where it should come from.

Last night, Republican House appropriators released the detailed list of what discretionary* programs, exactly, will be cut.

A lot of these savings come from money that has been allocated, but has yet to be spent -- known as "rescissions." For instance, the committee lists its fifth-largest cut as lumped rescissions from the Commerce Department, the Justice Department, and science funding. Not all of those dollars were necessarily going to be spent, according to a Democratic staffer, as the Appropriations Committee will take some of that inactive money off the books to bring down the total spending number.

Here are the biggest cuts listed by House Appropriations Committee Republicans:

  • $6.516 billion from Defense Department and Air Force construction. This includes $6.237 billion from Defense Dept. construction and another $279 million from the Air Force's Overseas Contingency Operations fund.
  • $6.2 billion from Census funds. Makes sense, given that the 10-year Census is now complete.
  • $3.13 billion from highway-funding rescissions (highway money that hasn't yet been given out in contracts) and old highway earmarks
  • $2.9 billion from high-speed rail funds
  • $1.885 billion from Commerce, Justice and Science rescissions
  • $1.045 billion from HIV, AIDS, viral hepatitis, STD, and TB prevention programs under the Departments of Health and Human Services and Labor
  • $997 million Clean and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds under the Interior Department
  • $942 million community development fund under the Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • $812 million from General Services Agency construction funds (GSA handles contracting for construction of government buildings)
  • $786 million from FEMA first-responder grants
  • $638 million from Defense Environmental Cleanup

This post was updated at 12:17; it did not originally distinguish these cuts as coming from discretionary, as opposed to mandatory, programs. As news outlets have been reported, some mandatory spending programs, such as the Justice Department's Crime Victims' Fund, have received large cuts as well.