THE DAILY WHIP: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 2013

House Meets At: First Vote Predicted: Last Vote Predicted:

10:00 a.m.: Morning Hour
12:00 p.m.: Legislative Business

Fifteen “One Minutes” per side

2:00 - 2:30 p.m. 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

**Members are advised that House completed all general debate on H.Con.Res. 25 yesterday. Today, the House will consider and vote on all budget substitutes made in order under the Rule for H.Con.Res 25.  The final 10 minutes of closing debate and passage of H.Con.Res 25 will be considered tomorrow

Continue Consideration of H. Con. Res. 25 - The Republican Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Resolution (Rep. Ryan (WI) – Budget). The Republican Budget submitted by Chairman Paul Ryan cuts non-defense discretionary spending by more than $1 trillion below the level of the 2011 Budget Control Act caps, which already reduced spending to its lowest level as a share of GDP since 1962.   It would end the Medicare guarantee and turn it into a voucher program.  It would save $810 billion by turning Medicaid into a capped block grant. The Republican Budget also relies on a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, despite the fact that it was upheld by the Supreme Court and withstood over 30 votes on repeal last Congress. The Republican Budget is a combination of the same Romney/Ryan policies that the American people rejected in November and magic asterisks that hide the harsh policies required to make its numbers add up.

It not only supports the “meat-ax” approach to reducing spending by cutting below sequestration's level of discretionary spending, but also claims $962 billion in “other mandatory” cuts while giving no specifics on what those cuts are, or what policies are used to implement them. Programs in this “other mandatory” category serve the needy and the disadvantaged, harming the people with the least means while asking nothing of the wealthy.  Further, the Republican Budget protects defense spending from sequestration, and then doubles down on sequestration's cuts to nondefense discretionary spending to pay for it.

The Republican Budget claims to balance the budget in 10 years, but makes no mention of new revenues. It would create just two tax brackets for individuals – 10% and 25% and a top corporate tax rate of 25% (currently 35%) while claiming to raise trillions of dollars through the elimination of tax preferences – but fails to name even one of them specifically.  These tax cuts, along with the Republican Budget’s repeal of the AMT, would result in over $5.7 trillion in lost revenue, and would require raising taxes for the middle class to remain revenue neutral.  Despite repealing the Affordable Care Act, the Budget also cynically keeps over $700 billion in Medicare savings – the same savings Chairman Ryan criticized last Fall during the campaign – and the $1 trillion in revenue that comes from the law.  

The Republican Budget Resolution is very similar to the Budget that Republicans proposed last year and the American people summarily dismissed last Fall.  It is once again not a serious document that avoids tough decisions and forces the American people to play ‘fill in the blanks’ with the details. It is an ideological, message document for hard-line conservatives that slashes investments in innovation, education, and infrastructure, which puts our economic recovery at risk and threatens American jobs. It does not reduce the deficit in a responsible way, instead placing the burden of deficit reduction onto seniors, the middle class, working families, and the most vulnerable while refusing to ask the wealthiest among us to contribute. It ends the Medicare guarantee; repeals the Affordable Care Act; harms non-defense discretionary spending immensely, while shielding defense spending from reductions; and achieves deficit reduction on the backs of the middle class and seniors.  This Budget rejects a big, bold, and balanced approach to reducing our nation’s deficit. Members are urged to VOTE NO on H.Con.Res. 25.

The Rule which was adopted yesterday, makes in order only the following amendments and provides for 10 minutes of final general debate time upon the conclusion of amendment consideration, which will occur tomorrow.

Mulvaney (SC) Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute (Senate Budget) (20 Minutes). The Mulvaney Budget inserts the text of Senator Murray’s Budget Resolution. Senator Murray’s Budget is similar to the Democratic Alternative Budget offered by Rep. Van Hollen. It takes a balanced and responsible approach to our fiscal challenges by including targeted spending cuts made across the federal budget as well as significant new savings achieved by eliminating loopholes and cutting wasteful spending in the tax code that benefits the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations. It builds on the work we have done over the last two years to surpass the bipartisan goal of $4 trillion in 10-year deficit reduction, achieving $975 billion in new spending cuts and $975 billion in new revenue.  Senator Murray’s Budget also preserves and protects Medicare and builds on the responsible changes made in the Affordable Care Act to continue reducing health care costs while protecting patients. Members are urged to VOTE YES on Mulvaney Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute

Fudge (OH)/Scott (VA)/Moore (WI)/Lee (CA) Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute (Congressional Black Caucus) (30 Minutes).  The CBC Budget makes significant investments in education, job training, transportation and infrastructure, and advanced research and development programs that will accelerate our economic recovery. At the same time, the CBC Budget protects the social safety net without cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or SNAP. It makes tough but responsible decisions to raise new revenue by making our tax system fairer by closing corporate tax loopholes and preferences, replacing sequestration, investing in job growth, and reducing the deficit over the next decade. The CBC Budget will put our nation on a sustainable fiscal path by reducing our annual budget deficit to 1.8% of GDP by FY 2023. The leadership believes that this alternative is superior to the Republican Budget.

Grijalva (AZ)/Ellison (MN)/Edwards (MD)/Lee (CA)/McDermott (WA)/Pocan (WI)/Schakowsky (IL) Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute (Congressional Progressive Caucus) (30 Minutes). The CPC Budget invests in America's future because the best way to reduce our long-term deficit is to put Americans back to work. Its investments in job creation and long-term economic growth are projected to reduce unemployment to pre-recession levels in three years with a plan that includes repairing our nation’s roads and bridges, investing in teachers and schools, and giving working families a tax credit to boost consumer demand. It offsets this package through a combination of spending cuts and revenues, which reduce the deficit by $4.4 trillion over ten years by closing tax loopholes and asking the wealthy to pay a fair share. The leadership believes that this alternative is superior to the Republican Budget.

Woodall (GA)/Scalise (LA) Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute (RSC Budget) (30 Minutes). The RSC Budget achieves balance in 2017, or in just 4 years.  It accelerates and escalates changes in Ryan’s Budget Resolution and repeals the fiscal cliff tax increase – costing $685 billion. It cuts an additional $2 trillion more in spending than the Ryan Budget Resolution. In addition to repealing the Affordable Care Act, the RSC Budget starts Chairman Ryan’s Medicare voucher plan in 2019 and increases the Medicare and Social Security eligibility ages to 70.  It block grants Medicaid and CHIP and freezes them both at the Medicaid-only’s FY14 level, which is a $1.5 trillion cut to both programs. While it keeps defense whole, it cuts total discretionary back to the FY08 topline of $950 billion and freezes it there for 3 years, requiring $1.7 trillion in cuts from nondefense discretionary programs. The RSC Budget’s spending cuts add up to $6.6 trillion.  Factoring in the $685 billion cost of cutting taxes for the highest earners, the RSC Budget’s total deficit reduction is just under $6 trillion, which is enough to balance the budget in 4 years.

Van Hollen Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute (Democratic Alternative Budget) (30 Minutes). The Democratic Alternative Budget replaces the harmful sequester with a balanced approach to deficit reduction. It protects the Medicare guarantee and Medicaid services, preserves Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage expansions and patient protections, and ends tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans while extending tax relief for the middle-class. It emphasizes job creation, generating 1.2 million more jobs this year than the Republican Budget, while making key investments in America’s future and growth by preventing the doubling of student loan interest rates, providing $50 billion for immediate transportation priorities and $10 billion for the infrastructure bank. It closes corporate tax loopholes, and expands low and middle-income tax incentives for work, saving and school.  The Democratic Alternative Budget makes smart, targeted spending cuts and raises revenue from ending tax breaks for millionaires and special interests and calling for shared responsibility. Taken together with the mix of spending cuts and revenues over the last years, the Democratic Substitute reduces the deficit over $4 trillion with a mix of 40% revenues and 60% spending cuts.  Moreover, the plan reduces the deficit to 2.4% of GDP, stabilizes debt at 70% of GDP by the end of 10 years and achieves full balance at the same time as the Republican budget did last year (around 2040). Members are urged to VOTE YES on the Democratic Alternative

Bill Text for H.Con.Res. 25:
HTML Version

PDF Version
Background for H.Con.Res. 25:
House Report (HTML Version)

House Report (PDF Version)
Summary of Amendments

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK
The GOP Leadership has announced the following schedule for Thursday, March 21: The House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. The House is expected to complete consideration of H.Con.Res. 25 - The Republican Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Resolution (Rep. Ryan (WI) – Budget). The House is also expected to consider the Motion to Concur in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 933 – Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Full–Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 (Rep. Rogers (KY) – Appropriations) (Subject to a Rule).

 
The Daily Quote

“Ryan’s tax reform plan costs more than all his spending cuts combined…. So how will he pay for his much, much lower rates? Well, he doesn’t say. In fact, he doesn’t even begin to say. His budget doesn’t name even one tax deduction, exclusion, credit, or loophole that will be closed. All he says is that he will pay for his lower rates, or at least the House Ways and Means Committee, which is in charge of writing any tax reform bill, will pay for them…. Rather, the eventual tax reforms are likely to include a significant tax increase on many Americans, and significant tax cuts for those at the very top.”

-    Ezra Klein, Washington Post, 3/18/13