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Tags: GOP | budget | Roger Wicker | Charlie Dent | Tom Price | Mike Enzi

Sen. Wicker: 'Profound Failure' If GOP Can't Pass a Budget

By    |   Monday, 09 February 2015 11:07 AM

As House Republicans consider a budget proposal aimed at countering President Barack Obama's plans to raise taxes, the likely spending cuts needed to meet their goal of eliminating the federal budget deficit over 10 years could be too severe for Senate GOP colleagues to accept, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The GOP will therefore struggle to negotiate a budget conservative enough to pass the House but moderate enough to win the backing of Senate Republicans, many of whom face tough re-election battles in 2016.

"It would be a profound failure — with a 51-vote threshold [in the Senate] — if we couldn't pass a budget," Mississippi GOP Sen. Roger Wicker told the Journal.

"The only things that will be accomplished in this Congress will be whatever it is the Senate can pass. It's that simple," Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Charlie Dent told the Journal.

The chairmen of the budget committees, Georgia GOP Rep. Tom Price and Wyoming GOP Sen. Mike Enzi, will likely unveil their budget plans by late March, the Journal said.

"The budget chairmen's ability to hold together a diverse caucus will be tested by conservatives emboldened after racking up big electoral majorities last fall," the Journal said. Already a new House Freedom Caucus has said it is considering writing its own budget.

But with two dozen Senate Republicans up for re-election, there may be reluctance to make significant cuts to social programs that would dismay sections of their constituencies.

Meanwhile, GOP leaders are hoping to start a new chapter with government funding by ending the stopgap funding measures that have become the norm since 2010. The aim is to return to "regular order" and pass a joint budget resolution, which requires a simple majority vote, the Journal said.

The House and Senate are expected to pass their own plans before patching them together in a compromise agreement to be approved by each chamber, according to the Journal.

Many in the GOP want to boost military spending, which is a proposal already included in the president's budget. But some Democrats are insisting that increases in defense spending be matched with increases in non-defense spending, the Journal said.

Even if they do find a way to steer the budget through both chambers, the GOP could face subsequent challenges in hashing out the details of the spending bills.

"It doesn't do us a lot of good to pass a budget in the House that we cannot get through the Senate, just like it doesn't do us any good to get a budget done that when we mark up the appropriations bills on that budget, we can't pass those bills either," Florida GOP Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart told the Journal.

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Politics
The GOP will struggle to negotiate a budget conservative enough to pass the House but moderate enough to win the backing of Senate Republicans, many of whom face tough re-election battles in 2016, The Wall Street Journal reported.
GOP, budget, Roger Wicker, Charlie Dent, Tom Price, Mike Enzi
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2015-07-09
Monday, 09 February 2015 11:07 AM
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