House kills conservative budget plan

The House on Thursday rejected the Republican Study Committee (RSC) budget alternative, on the way to completing consideration of the GOP 2015 spending blueprint.

The RSC budget was defeated 133-291, as 97 Republicans joined every Democrat in voting against it. Most Republicans are expected to line up in support for the mainstream GOP budget from Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.).

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Last year, Democrats made it harder on Republicans by voting "present," which forced a majority of Republicans to vote down the RSC budget. Democrats didn't employ that tactic this year, which allowed most Republicans to support the RSC plan — GOP members voted 133-97 for the conservative plan.

The RSC substitute budget would spend $2.8 trillion in 2015, balance the budget within four years, an even faster rate than the mainstream House GOP budget that balances within 10 years.

Heritage Action, an influential conservative group, urged members to vote for the RSC budget and said it would include the vote in its annual scorecard.

Several RSC members said their proposal would reduce the deficit more quickly than any other budgets under consideration.

"For most Americans, four years seems like a very long time," said Rep. Luke Messer (R-Ind.).

But Democrats said it would impose steeper spending cuts than than the Ryan budget, which they argue is already too draconian.

"What we have here is more than doubling down on what was already a bad idea," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee.

Before final passage, the House will consider one last budget substitute: the House Democratic Caucus budget alternative that is similar to President Obama's spending proposal, and spends $3.1 trillion in 2015.