this is a discussion within the Poli-Sci Community Forum; The House Thursday approved by a party-line vote a Republican spending plan for 2014 that would balance the U.S. budget in 10 years with substantial cuts in spending and a new Medicare plan for Americans younger than 55. It passed ...
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|03-21-2013, 08:16 PM||#1|
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House passes Ryan budget with big spending cuts, transformed Medicare
The House Thursday approved by a party-line vote a Republican spending plan for 2014 that would balance the U.S. budget in 10 years with substantial cuts in spending and a new Medicare plan for Americans younger than 55.
It passed 221-207 and puts the GOP once again solidly on the side of reduced federal funding and more tax cuts. Democrats said it would devastate programs important to the middle class and poor, while providing huge tax benefits to the wealthy.
The GOP budget would cut the top income tax rate from 39.6 percent, through the closing of loopholes and other deductions. It would also repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama's health overhaul legislation. The GOP-led House has now voted to repeal the health care legislation more than 30 times.
Medicare would be transformed. Instead of traditional Medicare, Americans turning 65 in the next decade and beyond would get vouchers they could use to purchase private insurance, or enroll in traditional Medicare. Democrats said the vouchers won't come close to covering the cost of coverage, but Republicans insisted it's the only way to insure the health system for seniors remains viable.
Not a single Democrat voted for the bill, drafted by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., who championed the plan as Mitt Romney's vice presidential running mate in last year's presidential race.
"Our approval of the House Republican budget today marks a significant milestone as we work to balance the federal budget and get our economy back on track," said Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson. "This is a responsible budget that balances in 10 years, saves Medicare from bankruptcy, repeals Obamacare, and gets our economy moving again so we can create jobs through pro-growth reforms that establish a fairer and simpler tax code."
Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, joined with all his fellow Democrats, and 10 Republicans, in voting against the measure.
"This budget is full of stale and dangerous proposals that gut programs that invest in health care, education and infrastructure, programs that Louisiana's working families need," Richmond said. "My Republican colleagues are focused solely on cutting spending when the best way to reduce the deficit and pay down the debt includes making smart investments. Infrastructure, education, dredging and innovation are all smart investments that would ultimately pay down the debt."
Ryan, the House Budget Committee Chairman, said that he's open to discussion with President Obama and Democrats on a budget deal, but said his plan provides a "Now, what are we trying to do specifically in our budget? We want to restore opportunity. We want to repair our broken safety nets so that they're designed to get people out of poverty on to lives of self-sufficiency by reforming our welfare programs," Ryan said.
But Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., the top Democrat on the Budget Committee, said that the American people consider Ryan's proposal, and the president's alternative, and decided to re-elect the president.
"They chose to support President Obama's vision of accelerating economic growth, putting more people to work, taking a shared-responsibility approach to our long-term deficits so we bring them down in a balanced and smart way, and they rejected the idea that we're going to move the economy forward by giving windfall tax cuts to the very wealthiest in the country and that somehow the benefits of that would trickle down and lift everybody up," Van Hollen said.
Voting for the Ryan budget were Scalise and Reps. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette; Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, John Fleming, R-Minden; Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-Quitman. Richmond, the delegation's only Democrat, voted no.
The House voted 134-104 against an even more austere budget offered by the Republican Study Committee, chaired by Scalise. One hundred thirty two members voted "present."
It would have balanced the budget in four years, instead of the 10 in the Ryan proposal, and would have eliminated the $600 billion in taxes over 10 years raised by eliminating the Bush tax cuts for households with incomes over $450,000, which were part of a Democratic-Republican budget deal earlier this year. Among the five Louisiana Republicans, all voted for the measure, with the exception of Alexander. Richmond voted present.
The House also rejected a budget developed by Senate Democrats.
"The Senate budget offers $7.3 trillion in new debt in 10 years, $1.5 trillion in new taxes while cutting $275 billion from health care without addressing reform to ensure our seniors are protected," Cassidy said.
But Democrats said it was a big improvement over the Ryan proposal.
"The Ryan budget takes us from a $40 billion investment in our crumbling roads, bridges, and highways to $100 million -- $40 billion, $100 million," said Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore. "Transit: $10 billion to zero. That's right. The Ryan budget cuts our investment -- that's already inadequate -- in infrastructure from $50 billion a year to $100 million. That's about 1 million jobs lost in addition to the accelerated deterioration of the system."
Meanwhile in the Senate from Senator Reid's office...
Said Pope Benedict: "WOW ... that ring is bigger than mine!!!"
Last edited by SmashMouth; 03-21-2013 at 08:19 PM..