Congress Set to Vote on Budget Plan this Week

April 11, 2011 § 1 Comment

Congress narrowly averted a government shutdown Friday after cutting it close with negotiations and coming to agreement late that night. Torn between the GOP’s $61 billion federal spending cut and the Democrat’s $33 billion budget, Congress came to agree on a $38 billion federal spending cut. One of the agencies to be hit hardest is the National Institute of Health, which is the world’s largest investor in biomedical research, with a $1.6 billion cut.

By Wednesday of this week, the House will vote on a budget deal covering the remainder of the fiscal year and the Senate will likely take a look at the bill Thursday.

The “Path to Prosperity” budget proposal by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is supported by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and is sure to spark a partisan battle this week.

Boehner argues the budget plan “is a powerful blueprint for economic growth and fiscal responsibility that will help our economy get back to creating jobs, stop Washington from spending money we don’t have, and lift the crushing burden of debt that threatens our children and grandchildren.”

Ryan’s proposed plan would overhaul the Medicare and Medicaid government health care programs for senior citizens and the elderly while reforming the tax code to lower rates and eliminate loopholes. Defense spending would be spared.

President Obama, by contrast, envisions a more comprehensive plan that would include tax increases for the richest taxpayers, cuts to military spending, savings in Medicare and Medicaid, and unspecified changes to Social Security.

In his Wall Street Journal article The GOP Path to Prosperity, Ryan puts the blame on the Obama administration for the current crisis looming in America.

“Yet the facts are clear: Since President Obama took office, our problems have gotten worse. Major spending increases have failed to deliver promised jobs. The safety net for the poor is coming apart at the seams. Government health and retirement programs are growing at unsustainable rates. The new health-care law is a fiscal train wreck. And a complex, inefficient tax code is holding back American families and businesses,” Ryan wrote.

Obama will call on Republicans in a major speech Wednesday to join him in creating a broad plan to reduce debt. He will present a new package of deficit reduction ideas. Obama is expected to go far beyond his initial FY’12 budget released in early February that avoided major entitlement savings. Boehner describes Obama’s proposed 2012 budget as “irresponsible,” raising taxes and adding trillions to the national debt.

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