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

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More