Republicans today pushed a $3.5 trillion budget through a divided House that showcases their plans for trimming federal deficits and contrasts sharply with how President Obama and Democrats would tackle the nation's fiscal problems. The GOP package from Paul Ryan would revamp Medicare, slice everything from food stamps to transportation, and reject Obama's call for higher taxes on the rich. It envisions collapsing the six different income tax rates into just two, with a top rate of 25% compared with today's 35%. It would also eliminate unspecified tax breaks.
The House approved the measure by a near party-line vote of 228-191. It faces certain defeat in the Senate but gives both parties an election-year talking point heading into November, notes the Washington Post.
- Ryan: “We have an obligation, not just a legal obligation, but a moral obligation to do something about it,” he said on the House floor, referring to the nation's debt.
- Democrat Chris Von Hollen: “Because our Republican colleagues refuse to ask millionaires to contribute one cent to deficit reduction, they hit everyone and everything else."