Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Forget 2012 - House GOP ready to ax 2011 budget

By Jennifer Liberto, senior writer


WASHINGTON(CNNMoney) -- As President Obama prepared to defend next year's budget, House Republicans on Tuesday began swinging an ax at the current year's budget, which lawmakers have yet to pass.

House Republicans have vowed to cull $61 billion from the fiscal 2011 budget, and they've also pledged to allow any lawmaker to offer any suggestion for cuts -- meaning nobody knows at this point how much the House will end up cutting.

House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday that cuts could result in public sector layoffs.

"Over the last two years since President Obama has taken office, the federal government has added 200,000 new federal jobs and if some of those jobs are lost in this, so be it," said Boehner of Ohio, during a news conference at the Republican National Committee. "We're broke! It's time for us to get serious about how we're spending the nation's money."

There are already at least 400 amendments on the table and up for discussion in the next three days, and that list will likely grow.

Cuts to be discussed range from gutting White House priorities, such as Treasury's mortgage modification program for homeowners, to pushing ideological stances, such as banning federal funds from going to any unit of Planned Parenthood.

Although the 2011 budget up for debate only covers the next seven months, March through September, the clock is ticking to pass something soon. The current stop-gap measure that's keeping the lights on at federal agencies expires March 4.

The pressure is on Republican lawmakers to outdo each other,when it comes to cutting the budget. The GOP took control of the House riding a wave of public discontent of the mounting deficit and government spending.

"What we're doing here is we're having a great debate in Congress about how much spending we should cut. I mean, how cool is that?" said Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, chairman of the House Budget Committee, at a Monday news conference.

If lawmakers fail to pass a budget, or at least another stop-gap measure, by March 4, the federal government could be shut down like it was during the GOP showdown with the Clinton administration in 1995.

However, Ryan told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Tuesday that Republicans would rather pass a temporary measure and avoid a shutdown.

The House is expected to pass a budget Thursday, but the Senate isn't expected to take up the measure for a few more weeks. Then the chambers will likely have to negotiate the differences and come to a compromise.

-- CNN's Xuan Thai and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report. To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 18,432.24 -24.11 -0.13%
Nasdaq 5,162.13 7.15 0.14%
S&P 500 2,173.60 3.54 0.16%
Treasuries 1.46 -0.05 -3.51%
Data as of 3:42am ET
Company Price Change % Change
KeyCorp 11.70 0.05 0.43%
Bank of America Corp... 14.49 -0.19 -1.29%
Ford Motor Co 12.66 -0.05 -0.39%
General Electric Co 31.14 -0.11 -0.35%
Chesapeake Energy Co... 5.42 0.23 4.43%
Data as of Jul 29
Sponsors

Sections

For the first time ever, Amazon and Facebook are more valuable than Berkshire Hathaway, the storied company run by legendary investor Warren Buffett. More

Venezuela's government issues a decree recently that makes it possible to force workers to work in the country's fields amid food shortages. More

Sara Mauskopf started Winnie to help parents find everything from parks to family-friendly restaurants. More

It's about to get harder for some luxury all-cash home buyers to hide their identity from the U.S. government. More