A House Panel of Republicans has met to see what they can cut from the Federal budget in order to pay for the Katrina reconstruction (because dropping the inheritance tax changes is Not Going To Happen. That'd be far too sensible). Some highlights:
- You remember NASA's announcement last week that they gave last week? Well, don't get too attached to seeing the moon again, as the plan calls for the cancellation of the entire project.
- Eliminating government support in Graduate loans
- Eliminating support for Northern Ireland and drastically cutting back on an international AIDS initiative.
- Cancelling all federal support for National Park areas.
- Eliminating grants for drug-free schools, and as a bonus, removing all federal money for teenage family planning (abstinence education is still fully-funded. I'm sure you're shocked).
- Federal funding to Washington D.C. will be reduced even further (D.C. has no representation in the House and Senate, as control of the district was given to Congress in the Constitution (inhabitants couldn't even vote for President until the 1960s)).
- Erm, you know PBS? Home of Sesame Street? Well, as Toby isn't on the watch, funding for this is going to disappear. The National Endowments for Arts & Humanites will also be tossed out.
- The EPA is going to be slashed across the board: forestry, water quality, and waste disposal all take major cutbacks.
- CDC to have its funding reduced by up to 25% (good thing America isn't worried about biological attack, or that the world is supposedly facing a flu pandemic, eh readers?)
- Eliminate: Applied research for renewable energy sources, clean coal programmes, the FreedomCAR programme (to encourage more efficient cars)…and, and: President Bush's hydrogen fuel initiative.
- To be fair, they do also eliminate a few other non-environmental welfare programmes, but boy, does it look like they're using this as an excuse to kill everything they don't like the look of.
- A yard sale of old military technology, bypassing the need to get Congress's approval for large naval ships
- Encouraging military personnel to opt-out of the TRICARE healthplan and buy cheaper, less-comprehensive ones.
- And, in a fit of, well, I'm going with insanity, restricting first-responder grants in the event of terrorist attacks or natural disasters. Nice one.