House Appropriations Chair Takes Down Republican Budget: It ‘Cuts Too Much’

Even the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee thinks Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget goes too far.

On Thursday night, Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) — who represents the second poorest Congressional district in the country — told a local Kentucky station that he will vote for the House Republican budget. But, he said, he will do so reluctantly, since he believes the proposal “cuts too much,” especially given how much Republicans have slashed discretionary spending in the last two years:

“I’ll be voting for it. It’s not exactly to my liking. There are a lot of things that I’m not happy with, including the overall big number,” he said. “It cuts too much spending, frankly, from the discretionary side of the budget. Most people don’t realize that we only appropriate 1/3 of federal spending … and we’ve cut that by $100 billion over the last two years.

Watch the discussion of the budget, starting at 2:30:

The Ryan budget certainly has a terrible effect for Rep. Rogers’ constituents living in poverty. It would make drastic changes to Medicaid, turning the program into a block grant system that wouldn’t keep up with growing healthcare costs or inflation. The plan similarly block grants food stamp spending, leading to cutbacks in the thousands for families that rely on nutrition assistance. Other safety net program would feel the brunt of the Ryan budget too, while corporations and the rich would enjoy huge tax breaks.

And Rogers is right to break from the Republican narrative that ignores spending cuts that have already happened and are likely to hurt economic growth. Since the 2011 fight over the budget — and including the fiscal cliff and the debt ceiling debate — the US has cut nearly $1.5 trillion in spending over the next decade.