GOP Goes After Cuts Obama Wants

It's not the same as striking funding for the health care law. Or slashing money for an expensive reserve engine for the Joint Strike Fighter.

That's what the House did last week with its mammoth, $61 billion cut-a-thon legislation to run the federal government.

But House Republicans plan to trim $4 billion from the budget in a new, stopgap bill that they hope will keep the government open for business through mid-March.

The legislation kills $75 million for election assistance grants already targeted for elimination in the president's budget request, drops $29 million to help rural communities acquire broadband, among other items.

Also on the chopping block are $1.24 billion for a variety of earmarks. Earmarks are set-asides that designate money to be spent for specific purposes. Congress must already agree to spend that money. It's just a question of if the funds are "earmarked" for a given project.

The earmark cuts include $80 million for the Army Corps of Engineers on the Mississippi River, $4 million for the Coast Guard to alter bridges and $22 million for neighborhood initiatives at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The author of the legislation, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) said he "would have greatly preferred" for the Senate to move a longer-term measure that the House approved last week. But Rogers added that the stopgap package served "as a symbol to our continued commitment to getting our nation's fiscal house in order."

House Republicans specifically targeted some spending items that President Obama already wants to eliminate in an effort to apply pressure on Senate Democrats to accept the deal.