In response to a budget proposed by House Republicans, Senate Democrats announced their own budget proposal for 2014.
Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Budget Committee, released a proposal that combines spending cuts with increased tax revenue, an aspect missing from Representative Paul Ryan’s proposal. The Murray budget seeks to close tax loopholes for the wealthiest Americans without raising tax rates for the middle and lower class. In addition, the Murray budget would protect Medicaid and Medicare while expanding coverage in accordance with the Affordable Care Act.
In a statement released by the Senate budget Committee, members said “The Senate Budget is grounded in the understanding that our country’s long-term fiscal and economic goals will only be met with policies that support a strong and growing middle class. And it keeps the promises we have made to our seniors, our families, and our communities. The American people are sick and tired of watching their government lurch from crisis to crisis. The Senate Budget offers a serious and credible path away from this gridlock and dysfunction and toward a long-term plan to create jobs, lay down a strong foundation for broad-based economic growth, replace sequestration, and tackle our deficit and debt responsibly and credibly.”
The Ryan budget would repeal the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which prohibits insurance companies from classifying being a woman as a pre-existing medical condition and eliminated co-pays for birth control. The Ryan budget would also turn Medicare into a voucher system that would leave seniors, particularly women, struggling to get coverage. In addition, the proposed budget would restructure the way Social Security Living Adjustments are determined, threatening the stability of seniors nationwide. Paul Ryan also seeks to undo sequester cuts to the Pentagon by instead transferring the cuts to already severely impacted domestic programs.
President Obama is set to release his own budget proposal next month.