H.R. 408 cuts $2.5 trillion in federal government spending through 2021. H.R. 408 would change the baseline in discretionary spending, repeal certain stimulus provisions, limit the number of civilian employees in the executive branch, and cut various federal programs.
Section 506 would cut a significant amount of funds going towards federal involvement in education, including cutting funds from some early education programs.
HSLDA believes that the Constitution does not give the federal government any authority to set education policy for states and local governments. We believe that our founders intended education decisions to be left to the parents and state and local governments.
Historically, education was never a federal government responsibility, and until the last half of the previous century, it was completely left in the hands of state and local governments. As can be seen with the successes of homeschooling, education flourishes when parents and teachers have the freedom to cater to the individual students needs. Education should be as decentralized as possible. Cutting many of these federal funds would cut centralized federal funds from interfering in education reform at the state and local level.
The Center for Freedom and Prosperity congratulates the Republican Study Committee for defunding the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as part of its Spending Reduction Act. The act lists $2.5 trillion in savings over 10 years, including the $93 million annual subsidy to the OECD.
The new Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives has revealed its first attempts to begin to resolve the huge federal budget deficit. On January 24, 2011, Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH/4th), Chairman of the Republican Study Group, introduced H.R. 408, “The Spending Reduction Act of 2011,” into the U.S. House of Representatives. The objective of this legislation is to reduce federal spending by $2.5 trillion through FY 2021. Chairman Jordan’s bill would repeal ARRA funding, including eliminating all remaining "stimulus" funding, totaling $45 billion. The bill would rescind all unobligated balances of the discretionary appropriations made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 effective on the date of the enactment.
According to the Republican Study Committee, “The Spending Reduction Act of 2011 reduces federal spending by $2.5 trillion over ten years. The bill will specifically hold FY 2011 non-security discretionary spending to FY 2008 levels, hold non-defense discretionary spending to FY 2006 levels thereafter for the rest of the ten-year budget window (the same level as in effect during the last year of GOP control of the Congress), and include more than 100 other program eliminations or savings proposals.”
H.R. 408 has been referred to fourteen different House Committees for an undetermined period of consideration and refinement prior to moving to the House floor for action.
Included in the projected $2.5 trillion savings is approximately $45 billion in unspent Healthcare Information Technology stimulus funding, including funding provided by the HITECH portions of ARRA. Some of the HITECH appropriations have already been obligated and spent. However, Congressional attempts to cut off HIT funding, including CMS EHR incentive funding, adds to industry confusion, compounds our efforts, and further delays our American healthcare benefiting from the quality improvement and cost control benefits that would ensue from HIT.
While H.R. 408 may be passed by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives at some point, it is very unlikely that such a bill would pass the Democrat-controlled Senate. In addition, the President would veto this legislation and it does not appear that there would be support to override a Presidential veto.
As our Board-approved HIMSS Public Policy Principles clearly supports EHR incentive payments to spur adoption, staff is preparing our HIMSS Legislative Action Center to oppose H.R. 408 and to help members learn more about this federal legislation and to take action to inform their elected representatives about why they are opposed to this legislation. We are also working with key House and Senate members/staff to let them know that H.R. 408 does include rescission of EHR incentive funding. We will keep you posted on developments and working with Communications on ways to share this news in a factual setting without adding to the confusion and concerns this news is raising.