Senate Democrats’ budget includes nearly $1 trillion in new taxes

Senate Democrats’ budget includes nearly $1 trillion in new taxes

The first budget from Senate Democrats in four years includes nearly $1 trillion in new taxes but would not balance the budget.

The blueprint unveiled by Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayA bipartisan bridge opens between the House and Senate Overnight Health Care: ObamaCare sign-ups surge in early days Collins, Manchin to serve as No Labels co-chairs MORE (D-Wash.) on Tuesday to her Democratic colleagues would also turn off the next nine years of the sequester and replace those spending cuts with a 50-50 mix of tax increases and spending cuts.

ADVERTISEMENT
The budget would dedicate $100 billion to economic stimulus in the form of infrastructure spending and job training.

Murray argues that her budget cuts $1.85 trillion from deficits over 10 years. But once the sequester cuts are turned off, Murray’s budget appears to reduce deficits by about $800 billion, using the Congressional Budget Office’s baseline. The Murray budget does not contain net spending cuts with the sequester turned off.

The details of Murray’s budget came hours after House Budget Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul RyanGOP rep: Virginia defeat 'a referendum' on Trump administration After Texas shooting, lawmakers question whether military has systemic reporting problem Pence: Praying 'takes nothing away' from trying to figure out causes behind mass shooting MORE (R-Wis.) released his budget, which reduces tax rates and slashes spending much more deeply that Murray’s budget.

The Ryan budget would balance in 10 years without raising taxes and by reducing spending over the next decade by $5.7 trillion compared to the CBO baseline.


More from The Hill:
• Pentagon in survival mode amid face budget uncertainty
• Rodman plans vacation with North Korean leader Kim
• GOP demands access to Americans wounded at Benghazi
• Website claims to have hacked first lady's financial records
• White House demands China stop hacking US companies
• GOP renews attack on Census survey
• McConnell: Obama delayed budget like dropping a 'bomb'
• Ryan budget would approve Keystone


While Ryan’s budget would reduce the highest tax rate from 39.6 percent to 25 percent, providing a significant tax cut to the wealthiest households, Murray’s budget would raise $975 billion in tax revenue by closing corporate and individual tax loopholes.

More details on the tax plan were expected Wednesday when the committee begins its formal markup of the budget.

Committee Ranking Member Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsCurtis wins Chaffetz's former Utah House seat Overnight Cybersecurity: What we learned from Carter Page's House Intel testimony | House to mark up foreign intel reform law | FBI can't access Texas shooter's phone | Sessions to testify at hearing amid Russia scrutiny FBI can’t unlock Texas shooter’s phone MORE (R-Ala.) said based on the reported details, Murray’s budget increases taxes to pay for more federal spending.

“If the Senate Majority’s budget actually contains these accounting tricks, it would increase spending above already massive projections for spending growth. In other words, Senate Democrats would be proposing a tax hike to fuel even more wasteful government spending,” Sessions said.

“Can it really be this is all they have developed after four years of not producing a plan?  If that it is so, no wonder why they won’t make their proposal public until after the committee meets.”

Murray’s budget also will contain reconciliation instructions on tax reform, a move that could allow the budget, which cannot be filibustered in the Senate, to become the legislative vehicle for a tax reform bill. This would also allow a tax bill to move through the Senate under a majority vote, since reconciliation bills cannot be filibustered.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusTop Lobbyists 2017: Hired Guns GOP tries to keep spotlight on taxes amid Mueller charges Clinton-Sanders tensions linger for Democrats MORE (D-Mont.) has opposed including the instructions in the budget, arguing it would tie his hands in tax reform.

The $975 billion in spending cuts include $240 billion in savings from the end of the Afghanistan war and $242 billion in reduced interest payments, according to a source.

Republicans have criticized Democrats in the past for counting these as spending cuts, and Ryan made a point in his budget of producing a different baseline that did not count CBO’s projected savings from war and disaster spending.

The Murray budget will include $493 billion in other spending cuts, including $275 billion in health savings that do not cut entitlement benefits, a source said.

Ryan’s budget, in contrast, includes a Medicare reform proposal that would give future beneficiaries the option of getting subsidies to buy private insurance, which would cut the program’s costs.

Murray is presenting her budget as addressing weak economic growth first and foremost, and as protecting Medicare in contrast to the House GOP plan, which she calls a voucher system.

Murray argues that when $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction from the last Congress are counted, her budget presents the kind of $4 trillion balanced deficit reduction plan called for by Obama fiscal commission chairmen Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles.

— This story was updated at 3:22 p.m.