The Economy

House Unveils Budget Containing Steep Cuts

The proposed budget, which would reduce spending by $5.5 trillion in the next decade, will likely be opposed by many in the Senate.
Katie Kuehner-HebertMarch 17, 2015

House Republicans on Tuesday proposed a 2016 budget that partly privatizes Medicare, turns Medicaid into block grants to the states, repeals the Affordable Care Act, and reaches balance in nine years.

The budget would cut $5.5 trillion in government spending over the next decade, reported The Hill.

However, the proposal is likely to face headwinds in the Senate due to the concerns of many Republicans — and some Democrats — about the need to lift the sequester cuts in military spending, according to the New York Times.

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The House proposal would try to alleviate those concerns by adding “emergency” war spending through the “overseas contingency operations” account, which does not count against the spending limits. However, some prominent senators, including John McCain of Arizona, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said they would not accept that approach.

Other Republican senators might also be reticent to pass the House’s proposed budget.

“Historically, the Senate has been less willing to take on the tough issues, and the early sounds are they’re not going to do a Ryan-type Medicare-Medicaid plan,” Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma and a Budget Committee member, told the Times.  “They face a very difficult election atmosphere next year.”

The budget, presented by House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, also “includes instructions for House committees to figure out how to repeal as much of ObamaCare as possible under budget reconciliation, a process that would prevent Democrats in the Senate from filibustering a budget reconciliation bill,” said The Hill.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi of Wyoming is expected to unveil the upper chamber’s budget proposal on Wednesday.

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