The House of Representatives passed 235 - 193 a FY 2012 budget plan without any Democratic support. The proposal, written by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), would cut spending by at least $5 trillion dollars over the next decade by cutting discretionary spending, reforming Medicaid into a block grant program, creating a voucher system for Medicare and reducing taxes.
House lawmakers debated and voted on additional budget proposals, including the Democratic alternative as well as budgets by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the conservative Republican Study Committee, the Congressional Black Caucus and moderate Democrat Jim Cooper (TN). All were voted down.
The House-passed budget is unlikely to be enacted as Senate Democrats have not indicated they would bring it up for a vote. But it will be part of the larger fiscal spending discussion as it is the main Republican proposal and President Obama released his own vision for long-term spending Wednesday.
The president's outline proposes $4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next 12 years. It calls for cutting non-security discretionary spending by $770 billion, reducing security spending by $400 billion and repealing Bush-era tax cuts for the "wealthiest Americans." His plan also aims to save $480 billion from Medicare and Medicaid.
He asked Congressional leaders to appoint a commission of fellow lawmakers to work out the details.
The House passed the long-term budget just one day after the House and Senate completed work on a spending bill for the remainder of this year. President Obama will sign the FY2011 funding bill today.
The FY 2011 spending bill was passed with bipartisan support less than one week after negotiations between House and Senate leaders and President Obama led to an agreement to reduce spending by nearly $40 billion dollars from 2010 levels.