News / USA

House Approves Republican-Sponsored 2012 US Budget Plan

House Speaker John Boehner during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 15, 2011
House Speaker John Boehner during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 15, 2011
Lisa Ferdinando

The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives has passed a budget plan for 2012, which the majority party hailed as a proposal that saves taxpayer money and reforms government health and security programs for the elderly and the poor.  But Democrats, including President Barack Obama, have been vocal in their opposition to the Republican-sponsored plan, saying it would destroy the Medicare program for the elderly and seriously affect other much-needed social programs.  

One day after approving a 2011 spending bill, Republicans and Democrats clashed over spending for the next fiscal year.

The measure enjoyed overwhelming Republican support in the vote of 235 to 193, with Democrats solidly opposed to it.

The White House slammed it as a plan that places the burden of debt reduction on those who can least afford it,  ends Medicare in its current form, while doubling health care costs for seniors in order to, in its words, "pay for more than a trillion dollars in tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires."

Republican Representative Paul Ryan said the plan he crafted saves and repairs the social programs for the elderly and the poor and pays off the debt.

"It gets the economy growing," said Ryan. "It keeps taxes where they are and prevents massive tax increases.  It saves our Medicare, Medicaid programs.  It fulfils the mission of health and retirement security for all Americans by guaranteeing that people who have retired or about to retire keep what they have, what they organized their lives around, and then reforms these programs so they are solvent and sustainable for the next generation."  

But Democrats had a much different view.  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Democrats have offered a better alternative spending plan.  She said big oil companies and wealthy Americans would enjoy tax breaks under the Republican budget and Medicare would be destroyed.

"The Republican budget breaks the promise that this country has made to seniors, that after a lifetime of work they will be able to depend on Medicare to protect them in retirement," said Pelosi. "The plan here ends Medicare as we know it, and dramatically reduces benefits for seniors.  It forces seniors to buy their insurance from the health insurance companies, where the average senior would force to pay twice as much for half the benefit, as much as, for some, $20,000 a year."

Republicans say the budget plan aims to save at least $5 trillion over the next decade.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner said the plan is a serious step forward.  He charged that President Obama has failed to present a plan that would properly address debt and control spending.  

"This budget will bring more certainty to the American people, show the American people that we’re serious about cutting spending because we all know that cutting spending will reduce some of the uncertainty that is causing job creators to sit our their hands," said Boehner.

The bill changes the four-decade old Medicare system from a program that directly pays medical bills into one that provides recipients vouchers to purchase medical coverage from private insurers.  It also sharply reduces funding for Medicaid, the joint federal and state health care program for the poor.

Federal spending is expected to continue to dominate the debate in Washington, as the Republican plan is not expected to pass in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

Congress also has to decide what to do about the nation’s debt limit, which the country is quickly approaching.

You May Like

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

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