The Republican-led House has approved a budget that would cut spending by $5.1 trillion over the next ten years and slash funds for social programs.
The budget put forward by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin passed 219-205. A dozen conservative Republicans opposed the measure, saying it doesn’t go far enough to reduce the deficit.
Ryan’s proposal would repeal the Affordable Care Act, transform food stamp programs into block grants and turn Medicare into a “premium support” model. The Wisconsin lawmaker says it would balance the budget in a decade.
The 2015 budget is mainly a political tool as contentious midterm elections loom. It’s a familiar routine; Ryan’s past proposals became fodder for campaign ads in past election cycles as well.
Democrats, including President Barack Obama, have lambasted the document, which they say guts the social safety net and deprives seniors of federal programs into which they’ve already paid.
In a statement, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Steve Israel said the
Republican supporters of the Ryan budget point to its spending cuts and long-term plans for making entitlement programs more sustainable.
Republicans are also quick to crow that the president’s spending priorities aren’t popular with all Democrats. The GOP staged a Thursday evening vote on “Obama’s budget” – based on Republican interpretations of Obama’s agenda; it failed 413-2. On Friday, another Democratic alternative budget garnered 163 Democratic votes.