The Washington Post

House approves Ryan plan to cut budget $5 trillion

The House approved a spending framework Thursday that would shave more than $5 trillion of expected spending, advancing Rep. Paul Ryan’s final budget proposal on a largely party-line vote.

The Wisconsin Republican, whose term as Budget Committee chairman expires later this year, offered a last fiscal framework that included his controversial overhaul of Medicare and other entitlement programs, while also advocating a reduction of top individual tax rates down to 25 percent. Democrats blasted the proposal as a “windfall tax break for millionaires”, as Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) described it, and they vowed to make the 2014 midterm elections a referendum on Ryan’s proposals and its impact on the middle class.

The vote on Ryan’s budget, which followed the rejection of several other proposals, including Van Hollen’s, was 219 Republicans for the measure and 193 Democrats opposing it. Twelve Republicans voted against the Ryan measure, most of those believing that it was not conservative enough.

The debate was even more symbolic than most budget debates, as Ryan and his Senate Budget Committee counterpart, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), reached a two-year budget framework in December that is serving as the baseline for doling out federal funds in 2014 and 2015. Senate Democrats have announced they will not even hold the usual annual budget debate because of the Ryan-Murray agreement.

Ryan still put forward an austere proposal that built largely on his previous three proposals, calling his plan “a question of  trust” in the closing moments of the debate. “We trust the American people,” he said.

It would gut President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, while maintaining the savings engendered through special taxes and cuts to Medicare providers, and it retained his call to transform the elderly health program into one in which seniors would receive payments from the government and purchase their insurance on the private marketplace.

Democrats said such a voucher-like program would shred the guarantee of Medicare and vowed to elevate the overall issue in advance of the November elections.

“We just want to have a debate on the issues, because this is about who we are as a country,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said earlier this week.

Paul Kane covers Congress and politics for the Washington Post.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
The New Hampshire primary is Tuesday. Get caught up on the race.
New Hampshire primary: What to expect
New Hampshire will hold a traditional primary just eight days after the Iowa caucuses. Polling in the Granite state has historically been volatile in the final weeks before the primary. After the Iowa caucuses, many New Hampshire voters cement their opinions.
The Post's Ed O'Keefe says ...
Something has clicked for Bush in New Hampshire in the past few days. What has transpired by no means guarantees him a top-tier finish in Tuesday’s Republican primary here, but the crowds turning out to see him are bigger, his delivery on the stump is crisper and some of his key rivals have stumbled. At the least, the developments have mostly silenced talk of a hasty exit and skittish donors.
The feminist appeal may not be working for Clinton
In New Hampshire, Sen. Bernie Sanders is beating Clinton among women by eight percentage points, according to a new CNN-WMUR survey. This represents a big shift from the results last week in the Iowa caucuses, where Clinton won women by 11 points.
New Hampshire polling averages
Donald Trump holds a commanding lead in the next state to vote, but Marco Rubio has recently seen a jump in his support, according to polls.
New Hampshire polling averages
A victory in New Hampshire revitalized Hillary Clinton's demoralized campaign in 2008. But this time, she's trailing Bernie Sanders, from neighboring Vermont. She left the state Sunday to go to Flint, Mich., where a cost-saving decision led to poisonous levels of lead in the water of the poor, heavily black, rust-belt city. 
55% 40%
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
State of the race

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.