Moderate House GOP express ‘concern’ over budget process

Moderate House GOP express ‘concern’ over budget process
© Greg Nash
The moderate Republican Tuesday Group has gathered 20 signatories for a letter expressing “concerns” with the 2018 budget process.
 
“Recent reports regarding the details of the budget and reconciliation instructions are extremely problematic and we fear that if the House insists on pursuing this course, it could imperil tax reform and once again lead to instability in the appropriations process,” said the letter, penned by Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) and addressed to House Speaker Rep. Paul RyanPaul RyanWant bipartisan health reform? Make the debate honest again Ex-CBO directors defend against GOP attacks on ObamaCare analysis Ryan: CBO's healthcare estimate is 'bogus' MORE (R-Wis.).
ADVERTISEMENT
 
The letter, expected to be sent Friday evening, cites an ongoing debate between the conservative House Freedom Caucus and the Budget Committee on slashing mandatory spending.
 
While the Republicans on the committee had already agreed to enact some $150 billion in entitlement cuts as part of the budget’s reconciliation instructions, the House Freedom Caucus is holding out for another $50 billion in cuts.
 
“While fiscal responsibility and long-term budget stability is essential, requiring hundreds of billions — as much as $200 billion by some accounts — in budget savings from mandatory spending programs in the reconciliation package is not practical and will make enacting tax reform even more difficult than it already will be,” the letter states.
 
Black has twice postponed rolling out the House’s budget resolution as negotiations over entitlements have dragged out.
 
The letter also complains that the process is proceeding without a full picture of the final healthcare bill, which will dramatically affect spending in areas such as Medicaid. 
 
“It is important that we have a clear understanding of the ultimate treatment of the federal health programs prior to making decisions on any potential additional changes to those programs and the people they serve,” the letter said.
 
A potential vote on the most recent version of the healthcare bill was postponed this week until after the July 4th recess.
 
Dent and other moderates have said that any final spending deal will require Democratic votes, and urged their party to begin bipartisan negotiations, but Republican leadership has thus far rebuffed the calls.
 
"House Republicans have made significant progress on budget decisions and these family discussions will continue amongst the conference," said a spokesperson for Ryan.