GOP uses budget to hit Democratic senators

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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The voters in states where Democratic senators face election in 2014 would be hit by huge job losses and massive tax increases if the Democrats’ 10-year budget plan is approved, according to studies prepared by the Heritage Foundation and other GOP experts.

In Louisiana, for example, residents would lose $27 billion in extra taxes by 2022, according to the Heritage estimate. The tax increases would also slice roughly $22,000 from average household income over the decade, and kill off about 12,500 jobs per year, says the analysis.

That economic pain may be enough to create another headache for Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, whose state voted against President Barack Obama in 2012.

The partisan punches are intended to help GOP senators win those eight states and gain a Republican majority in the Democratic-led Senate.

Democrats have avoided voting on a 10-year budget plan since 2009, largely because any plan’s tax increases would create election-trail problems for their senators, especially for those in the states won by GOP presidential candidates.

This year, Democrats agreed to draft and vote on a budget plan, partly because of pressure from the GOP.

Last week, the 10-year plan was pushed through Sen. Patty Murray’s budget committee on a party-line vote. Democratic Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid says he will force a floor vote on Murray’s budget by the end of the week.

GOP senators are expected to vote for their budget plan, which was prepared by Rep. Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House budget committee.

The House budget slows federal spending and cuts taxes to balance the budget in 10 years.

Democrats argue Ryan’s plan favors the rich and cuts spending on the poor. Under Ryan’s planned, dubbed an “austerity budget” by Democrats, the federal government’s spending-growth would slow to 3.4 percent a year, and its budgets would spend $41 trillion over the next 10 years.

Under the GOP analysis of the Murray budget, Arkansas voters would pay an extra $15.4 billion in taxes, lose $18,000 per household and lose 7,500 jobs per year. The state’s Democratic senator is Mark Pryor.

North Caroline would lose $54 billion in taxes, $20,000 per household and 25,000 jobs per year. That’s a problem for Sen. Kay Hagan.

Alaska’s smaller population would lose $5 billion in taxes, $27,000 per household and 2,200 jobs. Those costs give Sen. Mark Begich an incentive not to vote for the Murray budget.

Montana’s residents lose $5.6 billion, $18,000 per household and 3,000 jobs per year. Incumbent Sen. Max Baucus’ possible support for the budget may hinder reelection.

Minnesota’s voters may not be pleased with Sen. Al Franken if he support the Murray budget, which would extra $37 billion in new taxes, cost households $23,000 and reduce jibs by 16,800 jobs per year.

Colorado’s electorate might be less willing to support Sen. Tom Udall if he votes for the budget, which would cost the state’s residents $35 billion in jobs, $24,000 per household and 15,500 jobs per year.

A “yes” vote from New Hampshire’s Sen. Jeanne Shaheen would give he some responsibility for the budget’s impact on her residents, who would lose $9.4 billion, $24,700 per household and 4,000 jobs per year.

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