Funding for transportation, housing and urban development programs would be cut by 17 percent for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year, under plans announced Thursday by the Republican House leadership.
House Budget Chair Paul Ryan of Wisconsin released a plan to reduce the budget of domestic agencies by $32 billion for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. Because Congress never passed a full spending measure for FY2011, the federal government is being funded on a rolling basis, and current funding expires March 4.
Transportation, housing and urban development programs take the biggest hits under the GOP plan. House Appropriations Chair Hal Rogers announced those areas would see combined cuts of 17 percent and see their budgets reduced to $56.3 billion from $67.9 billion.
Democrats, who control the Senate, have promised to fight the GOP’s proposed cuts, which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called “draconian.” If the two sides can't agree on a budget by March 4, the government will shut down.
The proposed cuts will likely be felt hardest on transit programs and high-speed rail – not the federal highway aid program – since that program is funded under a different authority, according to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
The current budget battle is separate from the looming debate over the FY2012 budget, which will begin when President Obama releases his budget later this month.