Washington, DC – Congressman Jim Himes announced today that his Spending Cut and Deficit Reduction Working Group today achieved action on the first of its proposed federal spending cuts in the U.S. House, just one week after the group’s formation was officially announced. Last week the group unveiled a package of legislative measures designed to cut over $72 billion from the federal budget, and yesterday the House Financial Services Committee passed one of the group’s provisions as an amendment to the Housing Preservation and Tenant Protection Act of 2010 (H.R. 4846).  The amendment will save taxpayers over $2 billion by pegging housing subsidies for a single individual to the market rate of an efficiency apartment rather than a one-bedroom unit.

“Our country’s fiscal problems are challenging and complex and the rhetoric divisive, but one thing is clear—now is the time to bring specific ideas to the table,” said Himes. “Families and businesses across Connecticut have found ways to cut their budgets, and I’m proud we are finally taking real action to do the same in Washington.”

The working group also announced the addition of its first new member, Representative Dina Titus (D-NV).  Himes and the other three founding members invited all Members of Congress from both parties to join the working group, whose mission is to identify and fight to enact specific wasteful spending cuts to help reduce federal budget deficits.

The Spending Cuts and Deficit Reduction Working Group is continuing to aggressively press to enact its budget cutting proposals unveiled last week, along with additional spending cuts as they are identified. Working group members plan to offer amendments to cut wasteful spending in the Transportation, Housing, & Urban Development (T-HUD) and the Military Construction/Veterans Affairs budgets—and other Members appear to be following in the working group’s footsteps, with a slew of budget cutting amendments now being offered for these appropriations bills.

A number of amendments were presented to the House Rules Committee late yesterday for consideration when the T-HUD appropriations bill is brought to the floor later this week. Amendments include across-the-board reductions and cuts to specific programs. Proposed cuts include items not requested by the president or programs funded above the president’s request.

The four founding members announced the formation of the new Spending Cuts and Deficit Reduction Working Group on July 20.