News / USA

House Republicans, Senate Democrats Clash On US Budget

Congresman Paul Ryan holds copy of 2014 Budget Resolution March 12, 2013.
Congresman Paul Ryan holds copy of 2014 Budget Resolution March 12, 2013.
Cindy Saine
— The U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee Chairman, Republican Paul Ryan, has introduced his 2014 budget proposal.  It would cut $4.6 trillion in government spending and balance the U.S. budget in ten years.  Democrats are criticizing the plan, saying it would hurt middle class Americans.  

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan appeared confident as he held up his “Path to Prosperity” budget plan Tuesday, which would erase the deficit in ten years - without raising taxes.

“Balancing the budget is a means to an end, it is a means to a healthier economy, a pro-growth society, a pro-growth economy that delivers opportunity,” Ryan said.

The Ryan budget is expected to be approved by the full House of Representatives next week, but it is non-binding and does not have the force of law. It lays out Republicans’ priorities on reducing the size of the federal government and would repeal most of President Barack Obama’s health care reform law.

Democrats, including the White House, pounced on the budget plan, calling it uncompromising, and saying they strongly disagree with the priorities it sets.  Senate Majority leader Harry Reid:

“The Ryan Republican budget will call for more tax breaks for the wealthy, an end to Medicare [government health care insurance program for the elderly] as we know it, and draconian cuts to education and other programs that help America’s economy grow and prosper,” Reid said.

Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray discussed her Senate Democratic plan with President Obama, who met with Senate Democrats on Capitol Hill Tuesday.  She had a short summary of the Ryan plan

“The same old song, doubled down from what they have run on for the past two years,” she sauid.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Ryan's budget does not include the balance between tax increases and spending cuts that the administration is insisting on, and would instead hurt the middle class.

Republicans have criticized Senate Democrats and the president for being unwilling to tackle the difficult issue of cutting the high costs of social programs for the poor and the elderly such as Medicare and Medicaid.  Ryan challenged President Obama.

“And so this is an invitation.  Show us how to balance the budget.  If you don’t like the way we are proposing to balance our budget, how do you propose to balance the budget?,” Ryan said.

Analysts say the Ryan plan has no chance of passing in the Democratic-controlled Senate, and that both chambers will likely pass their own versions, which would then somehow have to be reconciled for the budget to become law.   Congressional scholar Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution said the best hope for a solution lies with Senate Republicans.

“The only way we will get moved toward any agreement is if a group of Senate Republicans decide to engage in serious negotiation with the Democrats and the president,” Mann said.

Mann said that if the Senate passes a compromise budget, then the House might also be able to introduce and pass one as well, with the support of a few Republicans and a large number of Democrats,  but without the help of fiscally conservative Tea Party Republicans.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid