Republicans want to cut $1 trillion in spending — and instead of introducing 1 bill, they've introduced 500 to do just that

GOP Rep. Andy Biggs
U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) speaks at a press conference on the debt limit and the Freedom Caucus's plan for spending reduction at the U.S. Capitol on March 28, 2023 in Washington, DC.Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images
  • GOP lawmakers published over 500 bills on different areas in which they want to cut spending.

  • It comes as Biden has been urging Republicans to put forth a concrete budget.

  • GOP budget chair Jodey Arrington said the budget could take months, and the primary focus should be raising the debt ceiling.

Why have one bill laying out your spending cuts when you can have 500? It's a question that the GOP is now asking, as their plans to make sweeping cuts finally come into focus.

Republican lawmakers just made their latest move in the ongoing drama to raise the debt ceiling and cut spending. Republicans and Democrats have been going back and forth for months over how to keep the US from defaulting on its debt — something that could happen as soon as July — and after President Joe Biden released his budget, he's been calling on GOP lawmakers to do the same and detail what spending they want to cut in a potential debt ceiling deal.

Now, Republicans have some ideas — or rather, over 500 proposed bills for limiting funding to a slew of federal government programs and agencies.

While the bills do not yet have any actual text as of Thursday afternoon, the names reflect what might be on Republicans' minds as they work toward putting forth a concrete budget.

The bill names included in the drop encompass everything from limiting funding for wildland fire management to the Kennedy Center. One bill says it would put a "limitation on availability of funds for Independent Agencies, Office of Government Ethics," while another similarly limits funds for "Allowances and Office Staff for Former Presidents." Similarly, yet another bill seems poised to limit funds for the "Supreme Court, Salaries and Expenses."

Beyond salary cuts, other bill names indicate that they would limit funds for everything from CDC programs to help prevent birth defects to the EPA's superfund responsible for cleaning up hazardous substances. Several of the bills also seemed to contain typos, including one "to provide for a limitation on availability of funds for Department of Educcation, Student Aid Administration for fiscal year 2024," and another "to provide for a limitation on availability of funds for Enironmental Protection Agency, Inland Oil Spill Programs for fiscal year 2024."

Representative Andy Biggs, who introduced the 500-plus bills, did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment; neither did the White House.

GOP House Budget Chair Jodey Arrington told The Wall Street Journal in an interview that it could take months for his party to put forth a budget, and the focus right now should be on addressing the debt ceiling.

"The more urgent matter is to address the debt ceiling and negotiate spending limitations and broader fiscal reforms in the process," he said.

But the White House has vehemently pushed back on the GOP stalling to produce a budget as they continue to float ideas to raise the debt ceiling.

Earlier this week, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy wrote a letter to Biden requesting that the president meet with him to negotiate a deal to keep the US on top of paying its bills, saying in the letter that he is "incredibly concerned that you are putting an already fragile economy in jeopardy by insisting upon your extreme position of refusing to negotiate any meaningful changes to out-of-control government spending alongside an increase of the debt limit."

But Biden is in no rush to meet, especially with no budget proposal from McCarthy. When reporters asked him on Tuesday if a meeting was in the cards, Biden said, "Well, I don't know what we're gonna meet on."

Still, as each day goes by, the US inches closer to a default and no progress has been made toward a deal in Congress. Patrick McHenry, House Financial Services chair, said during a Punchbowl News event that "I don't see how we get" to an agreement on raising the debt ceiling.

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