The non-binding budget plan keeps the $85 billion in 'sequester' cuts and makes deeper cuts in social program, including eliminating Obamacare. It will not pass the Senate, which passed its own, very different, budget plan yesterday.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP / File
Moving on two fronts, the Republican-controlled House on Thursday voted to keep the government running for the next six months while pushing through a tea-party flavored budget for next year that would shrink the government by another $4.6 trillion over the next decade.
The spending authorization leaves in place the 'sequestered' $85 billion of spending cuts to the Pentagon and domestic programs. The result will be temporary furloughs for hundreds of thousands of federal workers and contractors over the next six months and interrupted, slower, or halted services and aid for many Americans.
The nonbinding GOP budget plan for 2014 and beyond calls for a balanced budget in 10 years' time and sharp cuts in safety-net programs for the poor and other domestic programs.
Thursday's developments demonstrated the split nature of this year's budget debate. Competing nonbinding budget measures by each party provide platforms for political principles; at the same time Capitol Hill leaders forged a bipartisan deal on carrying out the government's core responsibilities, in this case providing money for agencies to operate and preventing a government shutdown.
The GOP budget proposal, similar to previous plans offered by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin, demonstrates that it's possible, at least mathematically, to balance the budget within a decade without raising taxes. But to do so Ryan, his party's vice presidential nominee last year, assumes deep cuts that would force millions from programs for the poor like food stamps and Medicaid and cut almost 20 percent from domestic agency budget levels assumed less than two years ago.
Ryan's plan passed the House on a mostly party-line 221-207 vote, with 10 Republicans joining Democrats against it.
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