The House on Thursday passed a plan to increase military spending while slashing funding for food and child care programs, as well as Medicaid and federal employees’ benefits. The budget proposal, written by House Budget Committee chairman Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI1), was an attempt to avoid the cuts to defense spending mandated in last summer’s budget deal. The plan passed with the minimum 218 votes, with 16 Republicans and all Democrats voting no.
The plan which would cut the deficit by $300 billion over 10 years, would cut over $36 billion from food aid programs, $48 billion from Medicaid, and $83 billion in federal retirement benefits while allowing for major increases in defense spending. During the floor debate on the Ryan budget, Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA3) said, “I am so sick and tired of the demonization of programs that benefit poor people in this country…Rather than cutting waste in the Pentagon budget, which we all know exists, you protect the Pentagon budget. You know, rather than going after subsidies for oil companies and going after billionaire tax breaks, you protect all that.”
The measure will likely not pass the Senate and the White House threatens to veto it, though elements of the proposal are likely to reappear in the future as both parties attempt to avoid the mandated cuts scheduled for 2013.
Media Resources: Huffington Post 5/10/12; USA Today 5/10/12