May 08, 2015

Senate Passes Budget that Cuts $5.3 Trillion

The Senate voted 51 to 48 on Tuesday to pass the first joint congressional budget plan in six years, ratifying a 10-year blueprint that would cut spending by $5.3 trillion, overhaul Medicaid by turning it into block grants, and repeal President Obama’s health care law. The budget would cut off health insurance to as many as 27 million people covered by either Medicaid or the Affordable Care Act. It would include $431 billion in unspecified cuts to Medicare over that decade.

For the plan to take effect, Republican committee chairmen would have to draft legislation imposing the cuts. But they have made little effort to do so, and The New York Times reports that committee leaders in both parties have begun calling for new negotiations on a more bipartisan approach.

The Senate voted nearly along party lines, with only two Republicans voting no: Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas. Both are candidates for the Republican presidential nomination who say the budget plan does not go far enough to shrink the government and cut spending. Sen David Vitter (R-LA) did not vote, and all Democrats voted in opposition.

“Once again, we have a plan to balance the budget largely on the backs of seniors,” said Barbara J. Easterling, President of the Alliance. “Only this time, even many of the Senators who voted for it don’t want it signed into law.”

 

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