The House Ways and Means Committee introduced a series of tax bills Thursday aimed to decrease the national debt and reduce fraud, a move Republican lawmakers hope will get more conservatives to support the budget numbers agreed upon by former House Speaker [crscore]John Boehner[/crscore] and President Barack Obama.
The Budget Savings Package, which consists of three separate bills, would save an estimated $16.5 billion over two years and a total of $98 billion over the course of a decade.
It includes a measure requiring a social security number to receive the Refundable Child Tax Credit, saving $4.8 billion in the first two years; legislation to recover Obamacare subsidy overpayments, saving $8.7 billion in two years; and a bill eliminating the Duplicative Social Services Block Grant, which would save $3.0 billion over two years.
Congressional leadership in both chambers have called for a return to regular order in the budget process. House Speaker [crscore]Paul Ryan[/crscore] is advocating lawmakers stick with the levels agreed upon in the deal struck last October by Boehner and Obama to avoid another continuing resolution or omnibus spending bill. Conservatives, however, are hesitant about the spending increases, calling for cuts due to the country’s growing debt problem.
The Republican Study Committee, a group of around 170 conservatives in the House, released an outline March 1 laying out what they would like to see in the budget agreement – calling for a balanced budget in 10 years, tax reform and spending decreases to both mandatory and discretionary programs.
“The House Freedom Caucus similarly wants to see a lower budget number and I was pushing for $30 billion over savings over 2 years and 150 billion over 10 years that would be attached to some must pass legislation or appropriations though one of the committees,” Rep. [crscore]Dave Brat[/crscore] of Virginia told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
The House Budget Committee is expected to release its budget blueprint in coming weeks, the RSC also plans to release a more conservative proposal.
“Last year, the majority of Republican senators voted against the Obama-Boehner budget numbers. If they balked at last year’s agreement, then there is no reason to expect that they are any more interested in passing a budget at those numbers this year,” House Freedom Caucus Chairman [crscore]Jim Jordan[/crscore] of Ohio told TheDCNF. “The fact that the Senate Budget Committee delayed consideration of a budget this week is evidence that not everyone is on the same page, which means it makes even less sense for the House to vote in favor of higher spending.”
Senate Majority Leader [crscore]Mitch McConnell[/crscore] said Monday the upper chamber won’t consider any measure that doesn’t meet with the Bipartisan Budget Act spending caps.
“The Senate has to play team ball, and if they’re not getting the message when 80 percent of Republicans are voting for outsiders at the presidential level right now, it’s time to turn up the hearing aide,” Brat said.
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi announced Monday the committee was pushing back its timeline on a proposal.
“The American people want Congress to fight fraud and cut wasteful spending – and that’s what these bills do. I look forward to moving these commonsense bills through our Committee and the House in the weeks ahead,” Chairman [crscore]Kevin Brady[/crscore] of Texas said in a statement on the package Thursday. “The Ways and Means Committee will continue to take action to protect taxpayer dollars and make government programs more accountable.”
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