America faces a long road ahead when it comes to reducing spending and digging out of debt, but the Republican-controlled House is already wielding its red pen.
Very few parts of the federal budget are safe.
The Republican Study Committee released the Spending Reduction Act of 2011 that returns federal spending levels to those of 2008. The committee intends to slash $2.5 trillion from the federal budget over the next decade.
Cuts includes Amtrak subsidies worth $1.5 billion per year, public broadcasting at $445 million, and $335 million from the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities.
The act puts an end to federal control of mortgage finance firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It also cuts the civilian federal workforce by 15 percent through attrition and freezes federal pay raises for five years.
House leaders have also promised not to spend taxpayer dollars on abortion.
"I think the will of the people is that we enact this clear cut prohibition on the use of taxpayer funds for elective abortions," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said.
"When there's no public subsidy for abortion, the number of abortions drop by about 25 percent," said Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J.
Pro-life Democrats, led by Rep. Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., have also given their support behind the bill.
"We have over the years reached a general consensus that the federal government should not be using taxpayer funds for abortion," Lipinski said.
The Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate has no appetite for the deep budget cuts proposed by House Republicans. It's a disagreement that has the potential to set up a government shutdown this spring and continuing debates on just what Washington can afford -- and what it can't.