But some of the worst-sounding trims are not quite what they seem, and officials said they would not necessarily result in lost jobs or service cutbacks. In several cases, what look like large reductions are actually accounting gimmicks.
The legislation includes $4.9 billion from the Justice Department’s Crime Victims Fund, for instance, but that money is in a reserve fund that wasn’t going to be spent this year. Crime victims would receive no less money than they did before the deal.
The bill contains some policy provisions, including language preventing Guantanamo Bay detainees from being transferred into the United States for any purpose. And it eliminates funding for four Obama administration “czars”: the “health care czar,” “climate change czar,” “car czar” and “urban affairs czar.” But those positions are already vacant, and Democrats beat back a GOP effort to defund other “czar” positions.
Republicans were able to terminate more than 55 programs in the areas of health, labor and education, resulting in a total savings of more than $1 billion. In addition, a minor component of President Obama’s health-care law — the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan — will be eliminated, and another, the Free Choice Voucher program, will be scaled back.
The bill would cut U.S. contributions to the United Nations and international organizations by $377 million, and to international banks and financial institutions by $130 million. It also would prohibit pay raises for foreign service officers, although other federal employees would not be affected.
The Washington region would be spared from potentially painful cuts to the Metro system, as the budget measure would fully fund the federal government’s $150 million share of the agency’s budget, congressional sources said.
But District officials are livid about some policy provisions attached to the bill, particularly one that would ban federal and local funding for abortion. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) and several members of the D.C. Council led a rally Monday on Capitol Hill to protest those provisions and were arrested.
The full extent of the cuts did not become clear until Tuesday morning, after congressional aides worked all weekend and all day Monday to shape a detailed spending plan based on the framework that Obama and congressional leaders agreed to Friday. Budget aides tallied cuts into the evening Monday, racing to prepare a bill that was introduced in the House.
(A summary of the cuts provided by the House Appropriations Committee is available here, and a detailed list of program cuts is here.)