The House next week is likely to consider a number of alternate budget proposals for the 2012 fiscal year in addition to the plan Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) unveiled Tuesday, including a House Democratic leadership proposal, a Congressional Progressive Caucus proposal and a plan put forth by the conservative Republican Study Committee.
Maryland Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen announced Tuesday that House Democratic leadership plans to introduce its own budget, the details of which were still pending.
“We will have a Democratic alternative budget,” Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the Budget Committee, told reporters at a Tuesday morning news conference. “It will achieve significant deficit reduction. We’ll talk more about that later.”
Nu Wexler, communications director for Budget Committee Democrats, said that the substitute budget offered by House Democratic leadership “will exceed the deficit reduction goals outlined in the president’s budget.”
Meanwhile, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which comprises about 80 members, plans to offer its own budget alternative, according to a senior Democratic aide to a member of the caucus.
The CPC budget would eliminate the deficit within 10 years and would bring the debt-to-GDP ratio near 60 percent -- the target set by President Obama’s bipartisan deficit commission – said the aide, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the plan.
The CPC budget would also bring revenue as a percentage of GDP “in line with generally-acceptable levels,” although no specific number was given, and would include a fully-paid 10-year Alternative Minimum Tax and sustainable growth rate patch.
The Republican Study Committee, a group of more than 175 conservative House members, also plans to introduce an alternative to the Ryan budget.
“House Republicans share a heartfelt desire to give Americans a better future than the one toward which the country is currently headed,” RSC Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said in a statement Tuesday. “Toward that end, the RSC is working on a proposal that builds off the Budget Committee’s effort and gets the budget into balance within 10 years. Thanks largely to Paul Ryan’s leadership, Congress has finally embarked on a serious debate about the long-term future of this country.”
Brian Straessle, a spokesman for the group, said further details on the plan would be available later in the week.
Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), co-chairs of the CPC, penned a memo Tuesday to CPC members and staff outlining the objectives of their alternative budget. The full memo is after the jump.
TO: CPC Members and Staff
FROM: CPC Co-Chairs, Reps. Keith Ellison and Raul Grijalva
DATE: April 5, 2011
RE: Fighting for The People’s Budget
The current debate about how to craft a federal budget has been hijacked by right-wing ideology that has stifled serious dialogue about addressing our nation’s challenges. The cut-first mentality that Republicans are pursuing would harm job creation, balloon the deficit and drain resources from vital programs that put people to work, stabilize our economy and invest in our future. Republicans and their Tea Party base are pushing the narrative that the government is spending too much and cutting government spending is a cure-all for our nation’s problems. But the reality is, we’re just spending too much on the wrong ideas and we need to invest in our nation’s priorities more wisely.
The entire discussion is oriented toward a debate about spending when it should be oriented toward a debate about priorities. Our federal budget should reflect who we are and what we stand for as a nation. The Republican budget proposals clearly underscore what they are for: protecting special interests, repealing reforms that hold corporations accountable and keeping the economic burden for our recovery on middle- and working-class Americans. As progressives, we now have the challenge to clearly state our priorities.
From this challenge arises an opportunity for the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) and our members to offer a credible budget alternative that makes sense for America. Our proposed plan, The People’s Budget, will consist of common-sense proposals that continue our recovery and position our nation for growth and prosperity into the future. We’ll cut waste, shrink the deficit and create a surplus, while investing in job creation, infrastructure, small businesses and programs and services that directly assist those in the greatest need. The proposals that we present know no ideology and enjoy strong support from our constituents.
Our primary goals for The People’s Budget are simple, attainable and critical to our nation’s short- and long-term economic future. Any plan that we endorse will:
·Eliminate the deficits and potentially create a surplus thereafter.
·Put America back to work with a “Make it in America” jobs program
·Protect the social safety net.
·End the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
·Be FAIR (Fixing America’s Inequality Responsibly)
WHAT WE’RE FIGHTING FOR
As we continue to develop and advocate for The People’s Budget, our task will also be to highlight who we are fighting for with our common-sense ideas.
We’re fighting for small businesses trying to thrive and compete in this difficult economy. We’re fighting for moms and dads who are working hard every day to create a better life for their children. We’re fighting for students from middle- and working-class backgrounds who work their way through school. We’re fighting for police officers and firefighters who put their lives on the line for our community. And we’re fighting for seniors who have helped build our nation and deserve dignity and peace of mind as they look toward their golden years.
Our caucus is squarely on the side of the people and we’re fighting to protect the best interest of everyday, working Americans from being overrun by powerful special interests and big corporations.