Federal Budget Madness Continues

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If you haven’t already braced yourself for another round of Federal budget insanity, now is the time. Today, the Senate is expected to embark on what promises to be a contentious round of budgetary votes. And on Thursday, the House passed a budget by Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on a 221-207 vote with no Democratic support.

Unsurprisingly, whatever comes out of the Senate and what the House passed yesterday are not expected to jibe in the least.

Earlier in the week, Senate Democrats began a 50-hour debate over the first budget to reach the Senate floor in more than four years. The budget plan offered by that legislative body calls for nearly $1 trillion in new tax revenues to be accrued by “eliminating loopholes and cutting unfair and inefficient spending in the tax code for the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations.”

By Thursday afternoon, the Senate proposal had been marked up with more than 127 amendments, mostly added by Republican lawmakers. Some of the additions include a proposal from Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) that would require the Senate to rework the document until it balances the budget, a proposal from Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that removes language calling for $975 billion in new tax revenues and an amendment from Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) that would withhold the pay of White House budget officials for every day that the President’s budget is late.

Democrats have accused Senate Republicans of essentially trying to gut the Senate proposal in order to make it as close to the Ryan budget as possible.

President Barack Obama was supposed to submit a budget proposal by Feb. 4, but White House officials pushed the date to April 8. Members of Congress are already facing withheld pay if they fail to agree on a budget by April 15 because of a law passed in January.

The Senate is expected to make a final vote on the passage of the budget proposal authored by Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) by early Saturday. Murray said her budget balances the nearly $1 trillion in taxes with spending cuts. But, in reality, the budget increases spending by eliminating $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts already slated to go into effect.

The Associated Press compared the proposals:

Total spending

Senate Democrats: $46.5 trillion

House Republicans: $41.7 trillion

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Total revenue

Senate Democrats: $41.2 trillion

House Republicans: $40.2 trillion

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10-year deficit

Senate Democrats: $5.4 trillion

House Republicans: $1.4 trillion

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National debt at end of 2023

Senate Democrats: $24.4 trillion

House Republicans: $20.3 trillion

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Social Security

Senate Democrats: $11.3 trillion

House Republicans: $11.3 trillion

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Medicare

Senate Democrats: $6.8 trillion

House Republicans: $6.7 trillion

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Health, including Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program

Senate Democrats: $6.6 trillion

House Republicans: $4.0 trillion

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National Defense

Senate Democrats: $6.0 trillion

House Republicans: $6.2 trillion

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Income security, including housing assistance, cash benefits and food stamps

Senate Democrats: $5.6 trillion

House Republicans: $5.0 trillion

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Interest on national debt

Senate Democrats: $5.2 trillion

House Republicans: $4.5 trillion

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Veterans benefits and services

Senate Democrats: $1.7 trillion

House Republicans: $1.7 trillion

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International Affairs, including foreign aid

Senate Democrats: $506 billion

House Republicans: $431 billion

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Education, training, employment and social services

Senate Democrats: $1.1 trillion

House Republicans: $906 billion

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Transportation

Senate Democrats: $919 billion

House Republicans: $801 billion

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Agriculture

Senate Democrats: $205 billion

House Republicans: $196 billion

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Natural resources and environment

Senate Democrats: $474 billion

House Republicans: $385 billion

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Community and regional development

Senate Democrats: $268 billion

House Republicans: $88 billion

Personal Liberty

Sam Rolley

Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After covering community news and politics, Rolley took a position at Personal Liberty Media Group where could better hone his focus on his true passions: national politics and liberty issues. In his daily columns and reports, Rolley works to help readers understand which lies are perpetuated by the mainstream media and to stay on top of issues ignored by more conventional media outlets.

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