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House rule would let GOP set 2011 spending

Dec. 30, 2010 at 1:55 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- House Democrats expressed anger at a proposed rule allowing the House Budget Committee chairman to set spending ceilings unilaterally.

The proposed new powers would allow incoming Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to determine spending ceilings for 2011 without a floor vote, The Hill reported Thursday.

The Hill said the new rule would give Ryan the power to slash spending since the 2011 fiscal year budget limits remain in effect.

The House is scheduled to vote on the rule after it convenes Jan. 5.

Democrats said the rule goes against Republican promises of transparency.

"Unfortunately, the House GOP is reverting back to the same arrogant governing style they implemented when they last held the majority and turned a surplus into a huge deficit," Doug Thornell, spokesman for incoming House Budget Committee ranking Democrat Chris Van Hollen of Maryland said.

The rule "flies in the face of the Republicans' promises of transparency and accountability," said Drew Hammill, spokesman for former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

"This provision is only necessary because of Democrats' historic failure to pass a budget last year. They have nothing but their own ineptitude to blame for this temporary authority," said Brendan Buck, a House Republican transition spokesman.

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