GOP Allows Budget to Drift Into the Red With Slew of New Measures

Wednesday, 06 Aug 2014 11:33 AM

By Melanie Batley

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House Republicans had been steadily working toward reducing the deficit since the party took control in 2010, vowing to "balance the budget and pay down the debt," but after passing a slew of measures, that commitment has slipped and the budget has gone into the red.

The GOP has passed more than a dozen bills, the cost of which are not fully offset in other areas of the budget. The moves threaten to increase the federal debt by almost $1 trillion over the next decade, The Washington Times reported.

Republicans argue, however, that the party has kept its promise to cut spending and reduce deficits from the years when Democrats controlled the House, and says it has been seeing through on its commitment to cut taxes, which accounts for an element of the increased deficit.

And on a number of occasions it has demanded that spending increases be funded or offset in the budget.

"I'm not going to apologize because Republicans believe in low taxes and less regulation. I think that's why God made Republicans," Oklahoma GOP Rep. Tom Cole, a member of the House Budget Committee, told the Times.

"The deficit has gotten lower every year the Republicans have been in the majority since then. So the side that cares about the deficit and has made tough decisions is clearly our side."

Nevertheless, Democrats insist Republicans have been hypocritical in their embrace of tax breaks while at the same time funding programs they support. The list includes restoring military pensions to the tune of $6 billion, a $155 billion research and development tax credit, a $90 billion expansion of the child tax credit to higher-income families, and a $2 billion enhanced tax deduction for businesses that make charitable food donations, according to the Times.

"Republicans hypocritically and unfairly refuse to offset any of their tax giveaways — yet they demand full offsets on key investments and priorities for the American people," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said, according to the Times, after the GOP's rejection of President Barack Obama's request for a $3.7 billion emergency bill to address the immigration crisis.

"This deficit busting and fiscally reckless move yet again proves who their allegiance is to: the wealthy and special interests, not the middle class or the most vulnerable in our society," she added.

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