House Budget Plan Sets Stage for High-Risk GOP Fight
If they can't pass it, Republicans' tax reform might be doomed
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 18, 2017 1:23 PM CDT
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House Budget Committee Chair Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn.   (J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – House Republicans on Tuesday unveiled a budget that proposes trillions of dollars in cuts to the social safety net and other domestic programs while sharply boosting military spending, a blueprint that elicited criticism from conservatives and moderates. The GOP plan, authored by Budget Chairman Diane Black, R-Tenn., is critical to GOP hopes to deliver on one of President Trump's top priorities—a Republican-only effort to overhaul the tax code, per the AP. Unclear, however, is whether GOP leaders can get the budget measure through the House. Conservatives want a larger package of spending cuts to accompany this fall's tax overhaul bill while moderates are concerned cuts to programs such as food stamps could go too far. Black announced a committee vote for Wednesday, but action by the entire House could be delayed.

The plan, in theory at least, promises to balance the budget through unprecedented cuts across the budget. It calls for turning this year's projected $700 billion deficit into a tiny $9 billion surplus by 2027. It would do so by slashing $5.4 trillion over the coming decade, including almost $500 billion from Medicare, $1.5 trillion from Medicaid and the Obama health law, along with sweeping cuts to benefits such as federal employee pensions, food stamps, and tax credits for the working poor. Still, the conservative House Freedom Caucus says the new plan is a non-starter, and a post at Vox likens what's going on to a "game of chicken." Adds Tara Golshan: "If neither faction blinks, Republicans, in control of the House, Senate, and White House will be stuck in a stalemate: No budget resolution means no tax reform."

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