House Passes Resolution to Set Spending at 2008 Levels

The House of Representatives this afternoon passed a rule directing Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the chairman of the House Budget Committee, to set non-security spending at 2008 levels for the rest of fiscal year 2011. This level is consistent what the new House leadership promised in their "Pledge to America." Rep. Ryan had already expressed intent to do so, which he has authority to do under the House rules approved earlier this month. The vote provided the House with an opportunity to go on the record supporting the lower level just ahead of the President's State of the Union address tonight.

House leaders say the target will result in reducing discretionary spending by approximately $60 billion this year, though some want to go further. The battle over spending for the rest of this year will occur sooner than expected as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) announced today that a vote on a Continuing Resolution to fund the government would occur in mid-February. The current CR doesn't expire until March 4.

Setting fiscal targets is important. And those goals must be a part of a larger bipartisan plan that addresses all parts of the budget and not just one area, and puts us on a sustainable fiscal course. We at CRFB hope that the President tonight will set the stage for a fiscal plan with goals that will reduce the national debt. Stay tuned with us tonight for live updates on our Twitter page on the State of the Union.