The House rejected three budget alternatives on Wednesday offered by separate groups of Democrats.
House Democrats, as well as the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) and Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), each delivered blueprints that raise taxes and eliminate sequestration to contrast with the GOP budget. None of the Democratic budgets would ever balance.
The official House Democratic budget, authored by Rep. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenSenate Democrats seeking information from SPACs, questioning 'misaligned incentives' Bottom line Spendthrift Democrats ignore looming bankruptcy of Social Security and Medicare MORE (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, would end sequestration cuts, raise the Pentagon's base budget cap to $561 billion and fund President Obama's $478 billion surface transportation plan. It would further raise taxes, primarily on wealthy Americans, by $1.9 trillion and increase spending by over $6.3 trillion over the next decade. But it was defeated by a vote of 160-264.
"This is a budget that supports working families in America and invests in our future, not one that squeezes those families and disinvests in America," Van Hollen said.
But Republicans criticized the budget for never proposing how to eliminate the deficit within a specified timeframe. The House GOP budget would cut spending by $5.5 trillion over a decade and balance within nine years.
"You'd think that with all of those taxes and all of that spending that you'd get to balance," said House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.). "Their budget never, ever, ever, ever balances."
Meanwhile, the CPC budget, rejected 96-330, would go further on liberal priorities than the official House Democratic budget. The CPC's budget would increase taxes, primarily on the wealthy and through a carbon tax, by $7 trillion over the next ten years and cut defense spending by $529 billion. It would also implement a comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws.
"Make no mistake: The people's budget does what the House Republican budget does not. It works for American families. Not special interests, defense contactors or the one percent," said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.).
But Republicans said the CPC budget would expand government bureaucracy.
"Today a very different vision competes for our future. That of a compulsory society where our individual rights are subordinated to the mandates of government bureaucrats, where innocent taxpayers are forced to bail out the bad decisions of others, and where consumers are compelled to purchase products or underwrite the losses of politically favored companies," said Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.).
The Black Caucus budget, which went down 120-306, would create $2.7 trillion in new taxes and reduce the deficit by $1.9 trillion over ten years. Like the CPC budget, it would call for ending the Pentagon's war fund, known as Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). It would also include implementation of multiple Democratic policy priorities, including increased funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), an increase in the federal minimum wage, immigration reform, and resources to protect voting rights.
- Rebecca Shabad contributed.