A NEW YEAR, A NEW BUDGET FIGHT: The House wrapped up the last bit of unfinished business with last year’s budget deal on Tuesday, when a measure failed to overturn a veto on the health-care law’s repeal. Now, frustrated conservatives are on to a new fight to scale back a part of the bipartisan budget agreement that calls for $30 billion in new spending this year. Power Post has more:
Some hard-line Republicans are quietly complaining the new budget should jettison the increases agreed to in the two-year deal. In response, [House Majority Leader Kevin] McCarthy and other House Republican leaders are discussing ways to again turn to the reconciliation process that set up the Obamacare repeal vote, allowing conservatives to vote on priorities like overhauling the tax code and reforming welfare policy as a consolation for spending hikes. …
… The budget process also marks a key test for [House Speaker Paul D.] Ryan, who promised conservatives who helped elect him that he would institute regular budget order and listen more closely to their demands. Ryan supported the $1.1 trillion budget deal, despite calling it a “crap sandwich” and promising to slash spending and balance the budget in ten years. The former Budget Committee chair’s previous budgets included sweeping proposals to overhaul entitlement programs while also cutting taxes.
INDEPENDENT REVIEW FINDS SANDERS TAX PLAN WOULD RAISE LESS THAN EXPECTED: A new review from the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates that a tax plan from Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) would raise about $3 trillion less over a decade than the $13.9 trillion touted by his campaign, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Mr. Sanders’s health care plan — which he calls Medicare for All — relies on a suite of new and higher taxes, and even a $10.7 trillion tax increase would mark an extraordinary expansion of government by about 25%.
His proposals include marginal income tax rates of as much as 52%, which would be effectively even higher because of expanded payroll taxes. He also would increase estate taxes, limit deductions for high-income households and tax capital gains at the same rates as wage income.
OBAMA, RYAN AND MCCONNELL’S LUNCHTIME CHAT: Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) sat down with President Obama on Tuesday to have lunch and talk about the year to come. The Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis and Greg Jaffe have the details:
Obama used his meeting with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to talk about areas where there seems to be bipartisan support for legislation this year. The White House list included the financial crisis in Puerto Rico, the nation’s growing heroin problem and criminal justice reform.
“Hopefully we’re going to find willing partners on Capitol Hill to advance those measures,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters after Obama’s meeting. “I think that’s certainly the expectation of most voters across the country.”
All were areas where the opportunities for agreement were “blatantly obvious,” Earnest said.