House Republicans pushed a bill through the Budget Committee Monday evening that will keep increases in defense spending without raising taxes. The bill would do so by cutting more spending from domestic programs, including aid to the poor, Politico
With automatic spending reduction set to begin in January across all budget categories, the fight is raging between Democrats, who want to maintain social spending at the expense of defense spending, and Republicans, who want to do the opposite.
The GOP is awaiting leadership from President Barack Obama on these issues. “Where is the president on this?” said Rep. Mike Mulvaney, R-S.C. “Seriously he’s the leader of the nation . . . Where is the president on the plan to replace the sequester [automatic spending cuts]?”
Republicans see the healthcare and financial regulation reforms as good targets for spending reduction. They also are looking at food stamps, Medicaid, and child tax credit refunds as part of a package to save $310 billion over 10 years. The savings would protect defense spending.
Also on Monday, the House Appropriations Committee approved a $519.2 billion Pentagon budget for fiscal 2013. That would amount to a $1.1 billion increases over this year and a $3.1 billion increase over Obama’s request.
The Budget Committee bill, approved along party lines, is scheduled to come to the House floor Thursday and will undoubtedly spark partisan dispute. But Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., sees the bill as an initial salvo for potential negotiations with the White House. “This sequester is bad policy and ought to be replaced,” he said. “There is no reason we can’t work together to replace the sequester.”
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