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Here Are the 5 Key Changes in the GOP Budget

Here Are the 5 Key Changes in the GOP Budget

All told, the long-term budget blueprint proposes to slash more than $5 trillion from social programs over the next decade, eviscerating what remains of the social safety net.

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"We're going to have a credit downgrade for sure without recurring revenue", said House Minority Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny.

The House budget proposes increasing the base national defense budget by $70.5 billion, from $551 billion in fiscal year 2017 to $621.5 billion in fiscal year 2018.

Such reform, he said, "has got to be part of who we are as Republicans". The blueprint calls for combining the tax and spending proposals the committees come up with under those instructions into a single reconciliation measure. It would do so by slashing $5.4 trillion over the coming decade, including nearly $500 billion from Medicare, $1.5 trillion from Medicaid and the Obama health law, along with sweeping cuts to benefits such as federal employee pensions, food stamps, and tax credits for the working poor.

Still, the House budget resolution is optimistically counting on $1.5 trillion of Medicaid savings and $487 billion of Medicare cuts over the next 10 years, the latter when the baby boom generation is in full need of those services. A Politico-Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health survey found that 62 percent of respondents said they are against the plan, while 24 percent back it. (Republicans were split, with 40 percent supporting the proposal and 41 percent opposed.) Most respondents said the tax plan would not help the economy. "I can assure you there are very few, if any, tax votes in the House on either the Republican or the Democratic side".

The first was the possibility that House Freedom Caucus member Rep. Mark Sanford (S.C.) would introduce an amendment of his own, demanding that a controversial Border Adjustment Tax be excluded from tax reforms. The budget measures can be enacted with simple majority support - and Republicans hold majorities in both House and Senate - but a separate spending bill, which needs to pass for the government to stay funded, needs 60 votes in the Senate.

House Republicans released a 10-year budget plan Tuesday morning that dramatically increases military spending while cutting Medicare and benefit programs like food stamps.

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As proposed by House leaders, tax reform would essentially be deficit neutral, which means cuts to tax rates would be mostly "paid for" by closing various tax breaks such as the deduction for state and local taxes. And of the more than $4 trillion in promised saving from mandatory programs like Medicare and Medicaid, the plan assumes just $203 billion would actually pass this year.

"Balancing the budget requires us to make tough choices, but the consequences of inaction far outweigh any political risks we may face", Chairman Diane Black (R-Tenn.) said during her opening statement to the committee.

The hope is that the caucus' budget will pave the way for spending plans down the road, McClintock said.

Black announced a committee vote for Wednesday, but action by the entire House could be delayed by the ongoing quarrel between the GOP's factions.

"It would cause pain to tens of millions of Americans, especially struggling families and others who have fallen on hard times, and would cut deeply into areas important to future economic growth, from education to basic scientific research", said Robert Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think tank.

"House Republicans have devised a toxic budget whose sole goal is to hand tax breaks to billionaires on the backs of seniors and hard-working Americans", said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.).

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