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

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora