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H. Con. Res. 25: Establishing the budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2014

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Fiscal Year 2014 Budget

This week the House considered Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget resolution for FY 2014 (H. Con. Res. 25). It closely resembles the FY 2013 budget Rep. Ryan proposed last year. H. Con. Res. 25 drastically cuts nondefense discretionary spending but protects defense spending. A few points I’d like to emphasize:

  • Not only does this proposal protect defense spending for FY 2014, it even protects it from sequestration.
  • It cuts nondefense spending by more than $1 trillion below what was agreed to in the Budget Control Act (known as the BCA — the law that extended all these cuts and brought us sequestration).
  • Spending under the BCA already brought federal expenditures to their lowest level since 1962.
  • The Ryan budget cuts an additional trillion dollars on top of the BCA cuts.

Just like last year, this budget dismantles the existing Medicare program and replaces it with a voucher program — the voucher amounts would not pay for the level of Medicare coverage that currently exists.

  • The Ryan budget targets Medicaid by cutting $810 billion in funding over ten years and turning it into a block grant program.
  • It also repeals the Affordable Care Act, even though the Supreme Court has upheld it and the House has voted more than 30 times to repeal it without success.

H. Con. Res. also reduces the top tax rate for corporations from 35% to 25% and from 39.6% to 25% for individuals, which will reduce existing revenue by more than $5 trillion. This budget proposal contains vague references to eliminating certain tax preferences, but doesn’t provide any details. There is no new revenue in this budget proposal.

We simply cannot reduce the deficit by spending cuts alone. Cuts at this level will also hurt private enterprise (researchers, road builders, home builders, defense contractors, and more), decimate social programs and hurt our economy in both the short and the long term. We must have a balanced approach and this budget resolution could not be further from balanced. I voted NO. The Ryan budget passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

221

10

0

1

DEMOCRAT

0

197

0

3

TOTAL

221

207

0

4

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0



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