2015 budget debate launched in the House

Budget week is officially underway in the House after members set up consideration of the Republican 2015 budget and five spending alternatives.

Under the rule that passed 222-194, the House will debate the budget blueprint outlined by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) for four hours over today and tomorrow. Ryan's budget would cut planned spending by $5.1 trillion over ten years.

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"Every year, we don't balance the budget," said Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.) during the rule debate. "We steal opportunities from our children."

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) slammed the GOP budget's cuts to the federal food stamp program, saying that "it would cut the social safety net to smithereens."

"We don't tackle big things anymore," McGovern said. "We use deficit reduction as an excuse to do nothing."

Under the rule, each of the following budget alternatives will be debatable for 30 minutes. The exception will be the one offered by Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) that encompasses the Obama administration's budget, which would spend $3.1 trillion in 2015 and which will get 20 minutes of debate.

Alternatives to be debated over the next two days are:

- The Congressional Black Caucus budget, which would spend $3.26 trillion in 2015.

- The Congressional Progressive Caucus budget, which would call for $3.2 trillion in 2015 spending.

- The House Democratic Caucus budget, which would outline $3.1 trillion in 2015 spending similar to the president's proposal.

- The Republican Study Committee budget, which proposes $2.82 trillion in spending in 2015.