GOP Budget Makes It Out Of Committee

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter

The Republican Fiscal Year 2017 budget made it out of the House Committee on the Budget in a 20-16 vote Wednesday evening.

Chairman [crscore]Tom Price[/crscore] introduced the budget Tuesday and estimates it would cut the deficit by $7 trillion while staying in line with the spending levels agreed upon by former Speaker of the House [crscore]John Boehner[/crscore] and President Barack Obama in October, 2015.

The “Balanced Budget for a Stronger America” was constructed to balance the budget over the course of a decade through steep spending cuts, tax reform, entitlement reform and a complete repeal of Obamacare.

“It lays before the American people a positive vision for how we can solve our fiscal, economic, and national security challenges through reforms that would grow our economy and hold Washington accountable,” Price said in his opening statement. “If enacted, these policies would give states greater flexibility to help those in need of assistance, save Medicare and protect seniors’ health care, improve the delivery of necessary services, eliminate inefficiencies, and provide critical support for our military.”

Democrats slammed the proposal, alleging the cuts would hit low-income Americans.

“It’s based on gimmicks. It would make the Enron accountants blush. You continue to keep all of the revenues from the Affordable Care Act in this budget while you claim, and they’re telling your folks, that you’re repealing the Affordable Care Act,” Ranking Member [crscore]Chris Van Hollen[/crscore] said at the start of the marathon markup. “It just doesn’t square. So once again, not a single tax break for special interests is closed to help reduce the deficit.”

The 25 amendments tacked on by Democrats – which included issues like Planned Parenthood funding and an equal pay provision – were rejected by the panel while the two Republican provisions passed, including one that would provide a separate package of mandatory spending reductions.

“I commend Chairman Price for passing a responsible, conservative budget that cuts the deficit by $7 trillion and balances within a decade—all without raising taxes,” House Speaker [crscore]Paul Ryan[/crscore] said in a statement. “This blueprint also repeals Obamacare, shrinks the EPA, improves Medicare and Medicaid, strengthens our military, and calls for tax reform. It represents our vision for a smaller government and healthier economy, and it’s a document that can make all conservatives proud.”

The proposal could see some issues when it hits the House floor, as members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus said they are unwilling to back the budget due to its spending increases.

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