Five things to know about the GOP budget proposal
WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - The House Republicans unveiled “Building a Better America,” their budget plan for 2018, Tuesday. The bill and its estimates assume that the Congress fully repeals and replaces President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
The House Budget Committee says their proposal will balance the budget within 10 years. Budget Committee Chairwoman Diane Black, R-Tenn., held a news conference summarizing the objectives of the bill.
“In past years, the Budget has only been a vision, but now, with a Republican Congress and a Republican White House, this budget is a plan for action,” Black said. “This is a plan to balance the budget, spurs economic growth, it secures our national defense, it returns power to the states and it holds Washington accountable.”
Black has announced the committee will vote on the budget plan, Wednesday.
The Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, John Yarmuth, D-KY., called the plan disastrous in a tweet Tuesday.
“It embraces the worst extremes of the Trump Budget, sacrificing nearly every investment that helps American families get ahead, in order to give huge tax breaks to millionaires and corporations,” Yarmuth said in a statement.
Here are five things you should know about the GOP budget blueprint:
The budget sets spending for 2018 at $1.132 trillion
According to the budget document, spending allotments are divided into two parts. The first is defense discretionary spending, of which, $621 billion from the budget allotment is dedicated. The second is nondefense discretionary funding. The bill sets aside $511 billion for these costs.
$203 billion in mandatory savings
The bill aims to balance the budget in 10 years and asks 11 house committees to achieve $203 billion in mandatory savings and reforms. To accompany this request, the bill asks the House Ways and Means Committee to create deficit neutral tax reform, aimed at reducing tax rates and simplifying the tax code.
The bill also states it will achieve $6.5 trillion in deficit reduction and a surplus of $9 billion by 2027.
The projected deficit this year is $700 billion.
Proposes reforms to the tax code
The GOP plan proposes: simplifying the tax code, consolidating seven individual income tax brackets, repealing the alternative minimum tax, lowering corporate tax rates and transitioning the tax code to a “territorial” system.
The plan would then devote $300 billion from that estimated economic growth to tax reform efforts.
Increases spending on national defense
The budget will allocate $621 billion in base funding for the military. $75 billion will go toward fighting the global war on terror and border security.
Cuts and enforcements to spending programs
The budget proposes cuts to social safety net and domestic programs.
It cuts $500 billion from Medicare costs and $1.5 trillion from Medicaid. Under the plan, future retirees would receive a fixed amount of money to purchase insurance.
This plan also eliminates the ability to receive both unemployment insurance and disability insurance at the same time. The blueprint for the budget claims this would be the “first step to preventing across-the-board benefit reductions to the Social Security program. This policy option could save up to $5.4 billion.” It would also reform federal employee pensions by ending the "special retirement supplement” that pays federal employees the “equivalent of the Social Security benefit at an earlier age.”
The budget would strengthen the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families [TANF] welfare work requirement. It would also enforce penalties to states that do not meet the work targets.
It would reduce spending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program [SNAP], formally the food stamp program, by restoring “overall SNAP funding to sustainable levels.” It also proposes stronger enforcement of the SNAP work requirement.
The Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit programs will require and enforce proof of income and Social Security numbers for each child.