White House: Vote on ‘Obama’ budget is a Republican gimmick

The White House said Wednesday that an upcoming vote in the House on an amendment based on President Obama’s 2013 budget is a “gimmick” and argued that the amendment does not deserve to pass.

The comments appear designed to head off any embarrassment from a strong vote against the amendment. Last year, Senate Republicans forced a vote on Obama's 2012 budget and it got zero votes.

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Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) has offered a budget amendment that contains top-line spending and revenue numbers found in the Obama's budget. It is being debated Wednesday as the House takes up the GOP budget by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) that cuts $5.3 trillion in spending compared to Obama’s proposal.

“But let’s be very clear: A vote on Congressman Mulvaney’s resolution is not a vote on the president’s budget. This is just a gimmick the Republicans are putting forward to distract from what the Ryan budget does: protects massive tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires while making the middle class and seniors pay,” White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage said.

She said that Mulvaney’s amendment is a dangerous “shell that could be filled with a number of things that could hurt our economy and hurt the middle class.”

“While Congressman Mulvaney’s amendment aims for many of the same top-line numbers as the president’s budget, he puts forward no specifics or ways about how he would reach these targets,” she said. “For example, rather than ending tax breaks for millionaires, his budget could hit the revenue target by raising taxes on the middle class. And rather than ending wasteful programs, his budget could hit its spending target with severe cuts to important programs.”

The White House urged members to vote for the House Democratic leadership budget, authored by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).
 
“His proposal ensures that no one making under $250,000 a year would see a tax increase, asks the very wealthiest to pay their fair share, and makes the key investments we need to grow our economy and create jobs,” Brundage said.

The vote on Mulvaney's amendment is expected tonight.

— Amie Parnes contributed to this report.

Updated at 4:52 p.m.