GOP Proposes Transportation Budget Cuts

The House Appropriations Committee found itself at ground zero in the budget wars Wednesday, as Republicans proposed new cuts from legal services for the poor even as outside events forced more second guessing about reductions in transportation and housing programs. The combination of Amtrak’s fatal derailment in Philadelphia Tuesday night, following the unrest in Baltimore, has battered a $55.3 billion spending bill pending before the panel. Adding to the fire was a second bill released Wednesday morning that calls for a $75 million, 20 percent cut from the Legal Services Corp. and denies President Barack Obama most of the new money he wanted for the National Science Foundation. Democrats argue the GOP must do more to reach a compromise with the White House and critical priorities will be hurt if Congress continues down the current path of freezing domestic appropriations through 2016 while adding tens of billions of dollars for the Pentagon alone.