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  • House and Senate Analysis: March 13-19, 2011

    Analysis provided by Heritage Action.

    House Analysis: March 13-19, 2011

    With the current short CR is set to expire on Friday, March 18th the House will be focused on yet another short term extension.  The plan put forward by Republican leadership cuts an additional $6 billion dollars over three weeks, but again fails to include important policy riders like defunding Obamcare, blocking implementation of the EPA’s cap-and-trade plan, and denying federal funding for Planned Parenthood.  Failure to pass a either a short term or a longer-term extension by Friday would lead to a government “shutdown,” which Heritage explains is more like a government slow down.

    Major Floor Action:

    • H. J. Res 48: Further Continuing Appropriations Amendments, 2011

    Major Committee Action:

    Senate Analaysis: March 13-19, 2011

    The Senate begins the week with a vote on a judicial nomination and a cloture vote on a small business bill on Monday afternoon.  Late last week, ten Republican Members (Senators Vitter, Paul, Ensign, Toomey, Rubio, Wicker, Sessions, Lee, DeMint and Ayotte) sent a letter to Leader Reid announcing their opposition to any bills that are not fiscal in nature, so it’s not clear if Senator Reid will have enough support to move to the small business legislation on Monday. If cloture is not invoked, Reid will have to figure out what legislation to move to while waiting for the House to complete their work on a new CR (a move that would be complicated in light of the letter from the ten Republican members).

    As a reminder, the short term CR is set to expire on Friday, March 18, so both chambers will have to act before then to avoid a government shutdown.

    Major Floor Action:

    • S. 493: SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011

    Major Committee Action:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to House and Senate Analysis: March 13-19, 2011

    1. George Colgrove VA says:

      Whoo-hoo! If passed, the congress would have cut $10 billion total from the overheated federal budget. Only 0.625% of what we need to cut.

      As usual, these cuts are mostly one-time allocations and will do very little in shrinking the size, scope, and cost of the federal government.

      The RINO's in Congress wants to pat themselves on the backs by saying they are cutting $2 billion a month. It could sound impressive if the total 2011 deficit was $104 Billion and they had all year to impose cuts. However, the deficit is $1.6 trillion. Congress would have to cut $56 billion a week for the rest of this fiscal year to reach a balanced budget!

      These anemic attempts to cut the federal budget are pathetic. They show that their pet projects, their federal contractor contributors, and their cohorts, the federal workforce is far more valuable to congress then the American People and the future of this country.

      Sure, they will inch forward to September 30th, spending all the way and at the rate they are currently cutting; we would have reduced the federal budget by only $56 billion (TOTAL).

      The feds will still be overpaid, they will still be over numbered, they will still be inefficient and ineffective, and there will still be corruption up and down the halls. We are not fixing anything by these targeted cuts; we are only prolonging the inevitable.

      IMPOSE a 15% across the board cut on everything (DoEd, DoEn, EPA, CIA, DoD, DHHS, FBI, DoT, etc…) This cut will be evenly spread over each individual office and cannot be used to wipe out entire programs within a department. There is still time to implement a cut schedule that can spread this over six months (April – September) at 2.5% a month ($95.8 billion a month, $574.5 billion for FY11. We do not need to worry about cutting full programs and the politics that go behind that. This can be done in one simple piece of legislation – one page!

      The feds in each program office will need to prioritize what they do. They will need to cut 15% of their staff and 15% of their pre-inflation adjusted budget. Statutory duties they will not have staff to do, the legislation will allow for a waiver until such a time that duty can be reviewed by congress, for elimination, simplification or consolidation with other duties.

      The purpose of this legislation is to force the federal workforce to cut their own costs through eliminating needless positions, making their operations efficient, eliminate redundancies, eliminate overlapping functions, eliminate wasteful spending, and readopting the pre-9/11 "made do" mind set. Since we are only making government better with this legislation nearly all of the Americans will be happy – especially the few who are actually paying taxes.

      We have to do something – thus far, it has been 70 days since this batch of congress members took their seats and all we have in place is $4 billion in cuts. If this CR is passed, then that goes up to $10 billion. Meanwhile February 2011 we accumulated the largest monthly deficit ever, $223 billion. The size of government is unchanged and its scope is ever more burdensome than it has ever been. Since the 2011 congress took their seats, this nation accumulated $273 billion more debt – we are nearing the national debt limit.

      Why is it that after reading an article like this, I feel I have just been slapped in the face?

    2. George Colgrove VA says:

      Reckless Federal Spending Mid-March 2011 update

      February had an early frugal period, but by the end of the month, the federal workforce ended up driving America a record monthly deficit of $222.5 billion. Though January showed reduced deficit spending, February more than took care of that. Spending was higher than February last year. With spending controlled by CR’s, it is showing that it is difficult in getting a handle on excessive federal spending. We surely we have a very long way to go. Kudos to the congress for cutting $4 billion from the budget in the last CR, and my hopes that the next CR with $6 billion in cuts passes as well. These are excessively small steps in the right direction to reducing the size, scope, and cost of the federal government.

      From the recently released US Treasury “Monthly Treasury Statement” – March, 2011 and from the “Daily Treasury Statement” – Feb 28, 2011 and the interest summary at http://treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/ir/ir_expe… here is the following debt update:

      So far, receipts are up over last year by $68.47 billion ($600.61 per taxpayer), however based on the rate the feds have collected so far, they may be lower than last year by $76.134 billion (-4%) for the entire year compared to last year it is still too early to predict for certain.

      FY11 Spending to date has increased by $58.124 Billion from last year with spending now projected to be $168.68 billion higher than last year – so far ($3.62 trillion or $210 billion below the FY11 proposed budget.)

      The annual debt thus far has gone up by $641.26 billion in spending and $207.4 billion in interest (five months). At this rate, the annual debt for the year will likely be $1.9 trillion. So far this year 42% of the federal budget is covered by debt – this represents a 5% drop from the numbers I saw at the beginning of the year. Last year the overall debt percentage was 37%.

      Incidentally, if one were to take the dedicated tax revenue (roughly 36% of receipts – or $750.82 billion) that goes to social security and Medicaid/Medicare and take that out of both mandatory spending and the total budget, the remaining budget ($2.874 trillion) is being funded by 54% debt ($1.539 trillion). These numbers are based on current spending.

      At 42% debt spending and ignoring the interest expense, the figurative date the federal government runs out of real money during FY11 (Oct. – Sept.) is April 2nd. After that date, all paychecks, entitlement checks, contract payments and all other expenditures from the federal government will add to the national debt.

      An example on how fast we are going into debt:

      As of 03-14-2011, we are going into debt by $1.90 Trillion this fiscal year FY11. This is at a rate of $158.04 Billion per month; $36.47 Billion per week; $5.21 Billion per day and $217.09 Million per hour. Every minute we are going into debt by $3.62 Million, and every second we are blowing through $10,000 MORE than what a typical household that is doing comfortably, earns in a year – $60,303.85.

      A four hour congressional hearing to discuss federal budget cuts puts America $868.38 Million deeper in debt, with nothing to see out of it.

      FY 2011 [Monthly Debt spending - millions]

      October [140,432] – (lower by $35,931 from FY10)

      November [150,394] – (more by $30,107 from FY10)

      December [78,134] – (lower by $13,276 from FY10)

      January [49,796] – (more by $7,162 from FY10)

      February [222,500] – (more by $1,591 from FY10)

      FY 2011 [Monthly Interest on Debt – millions]

      FY 2010 average monthly interest expense = $34,496 Million ($413.95 Billion annually – paid only $143 billion)

      FY00 – FY10 average has been $31 billion per month or $375 billion annually.

      October [24,142]

      November [19,396]

      December [104,700]

      January [21,123]

      February [38,003]

      Total interest charged in FY11 is $207.4 Billion – paid only $58.40 billion.

      Projected FY 2011 interest expense will be $497.7 Billion – budgeted to pay only $188.78 Billion.

      Current debt at the close of February 2011 is $14.142 Trillion ($124,055.54 per taxpayer)

      The Statutory Debt Limit is $14.294 Trillion (Set on Feb 12, 2010 by the 111 congress)

      Available Credit is $151.7 Billion.

      Average monthly debt spending thus far = $128.25 billion. Average interest charge is $42 billion.

      By the end of March 2011, the debt will likely be $14.271 trillion at that rate.

      By close of business March 18, 2011, we will run out of debt at that rate.

      By the end of September (close of FY11), the debt will likely be $15.61 trillion (with added interest not paid). This is $1.312 trillion over the debt limit and represents $136,896 per active taxpayer (the only people who have “skin in the game”).

      It has been three months since the November Elections let us see what the federal workforce has done to honor the demands of the people.

      Current actions that reduce spending (does not include intent, planned reductions or pending legislation):

      - Obama: Freeze federal employee pay – countered by federal employees giving themselves merit bonuses, merit step increases and in seat promotions.

      Current actions that reduce the deficit (does not include intent, planned reductions or pending legislation):

      In the 4/3/11 CR there were cuts totaling $4 billion in mostly onetime items. The annual budget has yet to be cut significantly.

      Required 2011 (no more debt) Budget for remaining 7 months of FY11:

      (This is an exercise in absurdity – provided to give an idea of what a balanced budget would look like)

      Expected Revenue = $2.086 trillion (based on receipts thus far)

      Spent thus far = $1.510 trillion (five months)

      Remaining available revenue = $575.35 Billion

      National Debt Interest = $439 billion ($58 billion has been paid back)

      At this point, we have almost run out of money! After paying the full interest for the year, there will only be $141 billion to fund the general operations of the federal government, provide checks to social security, pay for medical expenses for those insured under MC/MC and to defends the country.

      Reckless indeed!

    3. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      George, I hope other HF Readers appreciate the quality of your work as much as I do. A Fifteen Percent cut across the board is more possible than what I want to do! I want Spending Cuts to come from eliminating whole Departments of the Government! That is the elephant that nobody is talking about! You feel sick like I do that our Republicans can't see the Elephant! It would be more survivable for the Dummy crats in Obama's Dictatorship to survive with 15% cuts across the board. They will cut everything of value to Republicans and keep the Dictatorship going.

      My new strategy is to charge the Government Departments with High Crimes! That is the legitimate reason to kill whole Departments, they are committing High Crimes against the Constitution! When it comes down to it, the Fed Gov is going over the cliff this year! So it really is the choice for the House Republicans, "Let them destroy America now or let them destroy America next year!" I wish they would Impeach Obama and all his half vast Conspirators! Not destroy America at all! Well, what is left of it after the last hundred years of Progressive destruction!

    4. Pingback: BlueRidgeForum » Dawn Patrol: The Perils of Not Defunding Obamacare

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