Priorities, Pt. II
The House passed a budget resolution tonight, one that largely contours to Barack Obama's outline, on a vote of 233-196, with all Republicans opposed. The President responded favorably, saying that "Tonight, the House of Representatives took another step toward rebuilding our struggling economy." But that was but one of a host of budgets that were voted upon today.
The Progressive Caucus advanced a plan to spend hundreds of billions more on domestic programs than Obama, while cutting back on his defense budget. It failed, 348-84.
Next came a proposal from the conservative Republican Study Conference that would have cut Obama's domestic spending proposals, and reduced taxes. It was defeated, 322-111.
The Congressional Black Caucus proposed immediately repealing Bush-era tax cuts for wealthy taxpayers, while adding a new tax on couples making over $1 million. It called for greater spending on domestic programs,including education, transportation and job training. It fell, 318-113.
House Republicans presented a comprehensive alternative, including a provision to eliminate the current traditional Medicare program as an option for anyone currently under 55. Upon turning 65, their Medicare coverage would come only from plans operated by private insurance companies. Their costs would be paid at least in part with government funds.
Supporters said the change would prevent Medicare from going broke.
The Republican budget was rejected 293-137. More than three dozen members of the GOP rank and file voted against it, and several officials said the internal opposition stemmed in large measure from controversy surrounding the Medicare proposal.
Good to know that eliminating Medicare is more popular in the House of Representatives than cutting one dime of that defense budget. But at least we're closing the gap!