Scalise releases conservative caucus budget with big spending cuts, repeal of January's tax hikes
Less than a week after House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Ky., released a budget that Democratic critics called too draconian, the House conservative caucus Monday offered its own spending plan that offers even bigger spending cuts.
Rep. Steve Scalise offers up a spending plan with more spending cuts than proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan.
The Republican Study Committee's proposal would create a "premium support" system for Medicare for people age 59 and younger, five years earlier than Ryan, and balance the budget in four years. Ryan's proposal doesn't balance the budget until 2023.
Like the Ryan plan, seniors under the RSC proposal would have the option of receiving federal aid to purchase private insurance, or choose traditional Medicare.
The RSC, chaired by Louisiana Republican Rep. Steve Scalise, would also in its budget eventually raise the retirement age for full Social Security benefits from 66 to 70.
In addition, it would eliminate some $600 billion in tax increases approved by Congress on New Year's Day -- obtained largely from ending the Bush tax cuts for households with incomes over $450,000.
Ryan, who was Mitt Romney's vice presidential running-mate in 2012, would continue the higher tax rates in his budget plan, thereby enabling his proposal to balance the budget in 10 years. Ryan's previous budget proposal reduced, but did not totally eliminate the deficit in 10 years.
The RSC plan achieves budget balance with much deeper cuts in discretionary funding that was recommended by Ryan. The RSC would cap such funding at $950 billion, spending levels in effect during 2009, and freeze those spending levels until 2017 when the budget is balanced under its plan.
But it would allow, as the Ryan plan does, for defense spending to increase from $552 billion in 2014 to $678 billion in 2023. It also follows the lead of the Ryan budget in eliminating the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama's 2010 health overhaul legislation.
Scalise said the RSC budget provides many benefits.
"This plan lays out a clear path towards preserving the American Dream for future generations, controlling spending to create jobs and get the economy back on track, and finally returning Washington back on the party to fiscal responsibility," Scalise said.
But with a Democratic president who lists the health overhaul plan as the signature achievement of his first term, and a Democratic Senate, neither the repeal of the health care plan, or substantial cuts in domestic spending favored by Republicans are likely to be enacted. Obama has said he's willing to okay big spending cuts, and reforms in entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare, but not without getting some revenue by eliminating tax breaks for the wealthy.
Scalise, during an appearance Sunday on C-SPAN, said he expects the vast majority of the 171-member Republican Study Committee to vote for the Ryan budget after first voting for the RSC's leaner spending proposal. The RSC proposal isn't expected to pass.
Votes on the spending plans are likely this week.
Last week, Democrats, including Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, denounced the Ryan spending bill for imposing what they called radical cuts in important domestic spending.
"I am absolutely disgusted by the "new" Ryan budget because once again, it confirms that House Republicans have chosen to neglect the most vulnerable among us and endanger hard-won health care gains," Richmond said.
Stop puzzy footing around. Liberals praised Clinton because of his surplus, then blasted Bush for a deficit, now defend Obama's escalation of the deficit.
It is time to stop spending.
In no facet of reality does spending more get anyone out of credos card debt.
Re: Scalise releases conservative caucus budget with big spending cuts, repeal of January's tax hikes
HOUSE CONSERVATIVES UNVEIL PLAN TO BALANCE BUDGET IN 4 YEARS
On Monday, the House Republican Study Committee unveiled an aggressive plan to balance the federal budget in just four years. The plan, from the internal conservative caucus of the GOP Conference, achieves balance much faster than Rep. Paul Ryan's budget released last week. Ryan's plan would achieve balance in 10 years.
The RSC budget is built on many of the same elements as the Ryan plan. It just implements them faster. The RSC moves up the implementation of Ryan's Medicare reform proposal five years earlier, for example. It also imposes lower caps on non-defense discretionary spending, achieving a net reduction in actual spending. The Ryan plan, by contrast, simply lowers the rate of increase in discretionary spending.
The RSC budget also gradually raises the retirement age for both Social Security and Medicare. The increase in the retirement age, however, wouldn't begin until 2024. Surpluses generated under the plan would go to pay down national debt, rather than lowering tax rates.
Although 2/3rd of the House GOP are members of the RSC, its budget plan isn't expected to pass the House. The RSC budget, though, does provide a kind of conservative conscience for the GOP caucus. Ryan's budget plan released last week is nearly identical to a budget plan proposed by the RSC two years ago.
LA Rep. Steve Scalise has said that RSC members would be urged to vote for both plans.
“I think Paul has put together a document that can get 218 votes,” GA Rep. Rob Woodall said. “I don’t know if I’m going to get 218 votes on [the RSC] budget. I certainly hope that we will.”
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