House Republican Study Committee: We can balance budget in 5 years

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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Lawmakers on the House Republican Study Committee are unveiling their own budget for the upcoming fiscal year on Tuesday that they say would balance the budget in just five years.

In a conference call previewing the plan with reporters on Monday, the committee’s leadership said the proposal builds on the budget released last week by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan but gets the country to a balanced budget quicker with deeper spending cuts.

The committee says its plan balances the budget by fiscal year 2017. It’s been estimated that Ryan’s plan wouldn’t balance the budget until about 2040. (RELATED: Paul Ryan admits he would ‘have to consider’ a VP nod)

“We feel it’s important to have this budget proposal out there for members to see and frankly for the public to see what we believe really needs to be done,” said Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the committee’s chairman.

The Republican Study Committee plans to formally unveil its plan, “Cut, Cap, and Balance: A Budget for Fiscal Year 2013,” and its details during a Tuesday press conference.

“Obviously a lot of us thought we could do better,” said committee member and New Jersey Rep. Scott Garrett.

While their plan calls for deeper cuts than Ryan’s budget, Jordan said, “We like a lot of the policy and a lot of what chairman Ryan has unveiled in the conference budget. I think the vast majority of the RSC will be supportive of that because we know it’s something that can get passed – at least something that moves us in the right direction.”

“It’s a heck of a lot better than what the president proposed a few weeks back,” he added.

Among other highlights, the proposed budget freezes the country’s discretionary spending at $931 billion until it becomes balanced in 2017.

The plan also includes repealing ObamaCare and adopting the same Medicare reforms and spending levels in this year’s House Budget Committee proposal.

As for Social Security, the eligibility threshold would eventually be raised to 70 years, though anyone who is 55 years old or older wouldn’t be affected.

The plan also cuts spending by eliminating programs like the National Labor Relations Board, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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