Senate GOP budget blasted for keeping ObamaCare savings

Senate liberals are challenging GOP leaders on a proposed budget that would keep billions of dollars in ObamaCare savings while repealing the law.

Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingOvernight Energy: EPA watchdog slams agency chief after deputy fails to cooperate in probe | Justices wrestle with reach of Clean Water Act | Bipartisan Senate climate caucus grows Bipartisan Senate climate caucus grows by six members Senators fear Syria damage 'irreversible' after Esper, Milley briefing MORE (I-Maine) questioned Republicans for calling for a full repeal of ObamaCare while assuming the “same level of federal revenue” – which he said includes new dollars generated from the healthcare law’s reforms.

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“How can a budget engage in double counting of this kind?” King said during the budget committee markup Wednesday.

Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDemocratic senators seek documents on Trump's alleged call for Barr press conference Senate committee advances budget reform plan Bipartisan Enzi-Whitehouse budget bill a very bad fix for deficits MORE (D-R.I.) also blasted Republicans for a budget that “leaves in a trillion dollars in ObamaCare revenues.”

“That seems to be an unusual combination,” Whitehouse said.

Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerCentrist Democrats seize on state election wins to rail against Warren's agenda Hillicon Valley: Facebook to remove mentions of potential whistleblower's name | House Dems demand FCC action over leak of location data | Dem presses regulators to secure health care data Senator criticizes HHS for not investigating exposure of millions of medical images MORE (D-Va.) reiterated that point later in the hours-long hearing.

The Senate’s budget blueprint, which was unveiled Wednesday, resembles a proposal put forward by the House Budget Committee on Tuesday. Like the Senate’s budget, this year’s House proposal would also keep some savings from ObamaCare, which would then be funneled into healthcare reforms, according to a GOP aide.

Whether to keep cuts made under ObamaCare has been a  controversial issue for Republican budget writers since the law’s passage.

In the last two years, Republican budgets did keep the roughly $700 billion in savings from Medicare while calling for a full repeal.

That approach differed from the budget proposed by 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who pledged to repeal the cuts and restore the $716 billion in spending.

The GOP budget also cuts funding for entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a move that Democrats also lambasted.