Issue: H. Con. Res. 112, Establishing the budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2013 and setting forth appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2014 through 2022.
Result: Passed in House 228 to 191, 12 not voting. Republicans scored.
Bill Summary: A House budget resolution (to be completed by April 15th) is part of the established annual budget process. H. Con. Res. 112 is the resolution for fiscal year 2013, designed to bind Congress, serving as a blueprint for Committees developing the individual appropriations bills. It is not law and so does not require the President’s signature.
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The House Committee on the Budget generally develops the resolution after Congress receives the President’s detailed budget request. The House (and Senate) budget resolutions do not create any new spending authority until appropriations bills are enacted.
Analysis: This budget resolution was prepared under the guidance of GOP Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and was commonly referred to as the “Ryan budget.” Once submitted to the full House, several amendments, in the nature of substitutes, were considered and rejected.
The much-hyped “Ryan Budget” proposed several revolutionary changes in dealing with the federal government’s ballooning fiscal crisis. Those changes were not expected to become law, but rather provide a platform for GOP campaigning — “The Path to Prosperity:
A Blueprint for American Renewal.” Particularly noteworthy were the income tax cut proposals, which included reducing the current six brackets down to two brackets of 10 percent and 25 percent. It would also reduce the corporate tax rate.
The general GOP intention was to keep federal revenue about the same as a share of the economy, counting on a boost in the economy from reducing tax rates, simplifying the tax code, and reducing spending over a decade. The budget’s impact on red ink was projected at $3.3 trillion over that period, far short of what it would take to balance the budget.
Opposition to the Ryan budget came from conservatives who wished much deeper immediate cuts than those specified in the previous August’s default-avoiding, debt-ceiling deal. Liberal Democrats termed anything below the agreed upon $1.047 August cap on non-defense discretionary spending “a breach of faith.” The Ryan budget gave conservatives a mere $19 billion reduction below that number, ensuring Democratic opposition.
None of the House Democrats supported the “Ryan budget” — we ignore those votes. However, we give kudos to the 10 Republicans who held out for more substantial immediate cuts in spending. They resisted the common ruse of shifting tough fiscal discipline to future years, when it seldom materializes.
We have assigned (good vote) to the Nays and (bad vote) to the Yeas. (P = voted present; ? = not voting; blank = not listed on roll call.)