First steps: The GOP’s plan to start cutting spending

To make good on their campaign pledge to reduce the size of government, Republicans say they are planning a series of quick moves to slash spending soon after they take control of the House in January. Among the likely options: a massive rescissions package that aides said would slice 20 percent from most domestic agency budgets and enact $160 billion in additional cuts endorsed by visitors to Cantor’s “YouCut” Web site.

Such a package would trim more than $260 billion from this year’s $1.1 trillion budget for most government operations – the biggest one-year reduction at least since the military drawdown after World War II, budget experts said…

But conservatives such as Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), incoming chairman of the Republican Study Committee, are already lining up to demand even deeper cuts in exchange for their vote to permit the national debt to keep climbing past the current limit of $14.3 trillion.

“They really need to tie it to full extension of the Bush tax cuts or major spending cuts,” said Ryan Hecker, the Houston attorney behind the tea-party inspired “Contract from America,” which was signed by dozens of GOP candidates. “If they’re going to raise the debt limit, we would need to see some real economic conservativism in return.”