Republicans still lack consensus on House budget

Republicans still lack consensus on House budget
© Greg Nash
A day after House Republicans began whipping votes on the 2018 budget resolution — a key step to unlocking the tax reform process — there is still no consensus on the bill.
 
"We’re having a few more conversations to make sure that members are comfortable with all the components of the budget and understand that this is the most conservative budget in 20 years, passed out of the most conservative committee on the Hill with unanimous Republican support," said a GOP aide involved in the budget process.
 
"Some members want to see more details on tax reform, which is a reasonable request," the aide said.
 
The House Budget Committee passed its resolution unanimously through committee in July, but thus far, the resolution has not garnered enough Republican support to pass on the House floor.
 
 
The primary opposition to the budget's passage has come from members of the House Freedom Caucus, who have complained that the bill did not provide enough details on tax reform. They also said it did not offset spending increases with enough mandatory spending cuts. The budget would see $621.5 billion spent on defense, $511 billion on nondefense discretionary spending and cut $203 billion in mandatory spending — though those cuts would take place over the course of a decade.
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The value of the budget resolution, however, may now be limited to its role in unlocking reconciliation, a process that would allow Republicans to overcome a Democratic Senate filibuster in its tax reform efforts.
 
Even without the budget, the House is continuing in its efforts to pass its appropriations bills in one large bundle (four passed before the August recess, but they are being included in the current package alongside the other eight bills).
 
The Senate, on the other hand, is several steps behind and operating off a different set of spending numbers. On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed its seventh and eighth appropriations bill — one on state and foreign operations, the other on labor, health and human services, and education — and plans on considering the remaining four bills in the coming weeks.
 
But with the agreement President Trump struck with Congressional Democrats this week, a continuing resolution will push the deadline for funding the government from Oct. 1 to Dec. 9. If a new deal or continuing resolution isn't reached by then, a feat that will require Democratic support in the Senate, the government will shut down.