House Passes Ryan Budget Plan

In the end, there were very few GOP defections in the vote on Paul Ryan’s FY2012 budget plan:

WASHINGTON — House Republicans forced through a partisan budget blueprint on Friday that, if enacted into law, would pare federal spending by an estimated $5.8 trillion over the next decade while reshaping Medicare, a proposal certain to instigate a fierce clash with Democrats.

The bill has no chance of passage in the Democratic-controlled Senate. But it will effectively serve as the House Republican bargaining position in talks with the administration and Senate over how to reduce annual federal deficits and the accumulated national debt.

The action came a day after Congress finally concluded its fight over spending for the current fiscal year.

The vote in the House on the Republican blueprint, drafted by Representative Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin and chairman of the Budget Committee, was 235 to 193, almost entirely on party lines. Not a single Democrat voted for it; four Republicans voted against it.

The proposal, which would cut maximum corporate and personal tax rates and would overhaul the Medicaid health program for the poor as well as Medicare, is the new House majority’s most ambitious effort so far to show that it wants to rein in spending and aggressively shrink the federal government.

“The spending spree is over,” Mr. Ryan said. “We cannot keep spending money we don’t have.”

Democrats ridiculed the notion that Mr. Ryan’s plan was somehow bold for taking on the Medicare program despite the political risks, and accused Republicans of promoting a morally skewed vision of America by taking aim at services for the elderly and poor while supporting tax breaks for corporate America and the affluent.

“It is not courageous to provide additional tax breaks for millionaires while ending the Medicare guarantee for seniors and sticking seniors with the cost of rising health care,” said Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the senior Democrat on the Budget Committee.

This plan is not going to go anywhere in the Senate, of course, and President Obama’s budget is not going to go anywhere in the House. Once again, it will be up to the Senate to come up with a budget that everyone can accept. Last year, they weren’t able to do it and we ended up with Continuing Resolutions and the threat of a government shutdown that lasted for six months. Anyone willing to bet that the same thing isn’t going to happen all over again this year?


FILED UNDER: Congress, Deficit and Debt, US Politics, , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Well, that answers my question from yesterday. The line in the sand has been drawn. I have my doubts that this will end well for the Republicans, but we shall see.

    And yes: I think you are right about the continuing resolutions.

  2. Hey Norm says:

    I never thought they would bring it to a vote burin damn glad they did.

  3. AllenS says:

    I have my doubts that this will end well for the Republicans, but we shall see.

    What would make the Democrats look good? Not passing anything? Letting the current deficit/debt problems get worse? Maybe you think that we should spend more money that we don’t have. Is that it?

  4. Tlaloc says:

    What would make the Democrats look good?

    It’s a zero sum game when you have a two party system. In case the meaning of that isn’t clear to you it’s this-
    It’s not that the dems have to look good, it’s enough that the republicans look bad, which given that they just decided to pee on the third rail of politics I’m pretty sure is “mission accomplished.”

    “GOP candidate X voted to slash senior’s medicare to pay for tax cuts to his wealthy backers.” The ads write themselves, really.

  5. Tlaloc says:

    Besides which the debt crisis is pretty much hookum. There are a few simple steps we could take to make it entirely hookum but generally those aren’t the steps being discussed (start with rolling back the bush tax cuts which obliterates almost a third of the total debt).