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38 Republicans Vote Against GOP's Alternative Budget

Thursday, 02 Apr 2009 08:54 PM

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Despite their unity in opposing a $3.6 trillion budget that passed the House Thursday night, Republicans split their ranks over two budget alternatives that called for an estimated $4.8 trillion less in overall spending over the next decade.

The GOP alternatives, which also included a five-year freeze in most nondefense discretionary spending, failed in two separate votes. The speculation among some experts was that the Republicans breaking from the party did so because of spending cuts that some were probably reluctant to defend in their districts.

The budget that passed, according to Republican leaders, was chock-full of too much spending and tax increases which would expand the federal government and hurt the economy further.

"The Democrat plan to increase spending, to increase taxes, and increase the debt makes no difficult choices," said House Republican leader John Boehner. "It's a road map to disaster."

A conservative alternative promising to balance the budget by 2019 failed by a vote of 322-111, with 65 Republicans in opposition. A second proposal by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, failed 293-137, with 38 Republicans in opposition.

The GOP alternatives would repeal the entire $787 billion economic stimulus package with the sole exception of unemployment insurance benefits. There also was a rollback of the recently passed 8 percent spending boost in the budget for the remainder of the current fiscal year.

The plan also converted the federal share of Medicaid payments to block grants for the states. Medicare would have been converted into a program for Americans under 55 years of age by allowing them to choose from a series of preapproved private insurance plans, with premium payments from the federal government to insurers varying according to an individual's age, income and health.

Ryan’s plan also would have permanently extended all of former President Bush's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. Among other things, it also suspends capital gains taxes through 2010.

It also calls for establishing a new tax system based on two rates., CNN reported. A 10 percent income tax rate would apply to couples making $100,000 or less, as well as singles earning less than $50,000. The income tax rate would rise to 25 percent for those earning more.

The House GOP budget also calls for a repeal of the estate tax, as well as dropping the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent. Capital gains and dividends would be taxed at 15 percent.

Total federal spending under the GOP proposal would fall to 20.7 percent of the nation's gross domestic product, as opposed to rising to 24.5 percent of the GDP as proposed in President Obama's budget, according to a document released by the House Republican leadership.

The 38 Republicans who voted against Rep. Paul Ryan’s alternative budget:

Joe Barton, Texas

Gus Bilirakis, Florida

Ginny Brown-Waite, Florida

Vern Buchanan, Florida

Michael Burgess, Texas

Ahn "Joseph" Cao, Lousiana

Shelly Moore Capito, West Virginia

Michael Castle, Delaware

John Duncan Jr., Tennessee

Jo Ann Emerson, Missouri

Jim Gerlach, Pennsylvania

Dean Heller, Nevada

Lynn Jenkins, Kansas

Timothy Johnson, Illinois

Peter King, New York

Mark Steven Kirk, Illinois

Leonard Lance, New Jersey

Tom Latham, Iowa

Steven C. LaTourette, Ohio

Chris Lee, New York

Frank LoBiondo, New Jersey

Connie Mack, Florida

Thaddeus McCotter, Michigan

John McHugh, New York

Candice Miller, Michigan

Tim Murphy, Pennsylvania

Ron Paul, Texas

Todd Platts, Pennsylvania

Dave Reichert, Washington

Mike Rogers, Michigan

Tom Rooney, Florida

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida

Christopher Smith, New Jersey

Mark Souder, Indiana

Fred Upton, Michigan

Greg Walden, Oregon

Frank Wolf, Virginia

C. W. “Bill” Young, Florida

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