News / USA

Obama: Restoring Fiscal Responsibility a Shared Sacrifice

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with the co-chairmen of the president's deficit reduction commission, including Alan Simpson, right, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, April 14, 2011
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with the co-chairmen of the president's deficit reduction commission, including Alan Simpson, right, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, April 14, 2011

The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives has approved a budget plan that imposes dramatic spending cuts on several domestic programs, including those that provide health coverage for the elderly.

Republicans won passage of the non-binding plan Friday in a 235 to 193 vote, with all Democrats in the chamber voting against it.

The Republican plan proposes cutting the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 10 years.

President Barack Obama condemned the Republican plan a few days ago, and presented his own plan aimed at cutting $4 trillion from the deficit over 12 years.

In his weekly address Saturday, Obama said cutting education and entitlements for seniors while giving tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans does not represent a shared sacrifice.

The president's proposal includes cutting spending and raising taxes on wealthy Americans.

The Republican plan is based on tax cuts and sharp cuts in non-defense spending.

Mr. Obama says defense spending is an area where more savings can be realized.  The president also says health care spending could be reduced through reform instead of deep cuts in Medicaid and Medicare, health care programs for the poor and the elderly.

In the weekly Republican address, Senator Tom Coburn says President Obama's plan rations health care, giving too much control to those who manage Medicaid and Medicare.

Coburn says the Republican plan would save Medicare by giving patients currently under 55 years of age access to health care equal to what members of Congress receive.

He said the plan would also provide states with grants to help the poorest patients.

The debate between plans is expected to be intensive as the issue moves to the Senate.

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