The House GOP unveiled a 2019 budget Tuesday that gives a thumbs up to the sweeping tax overhaul passed last year and the Dodd-Frank rollback bill, but seeks to gut Social Security and Medicare and repeal the Affordable Care Act.
The GOP’s Budget for a Brighter American Future seeks to, over the next decade, save $5.4 trillion on mandatory programs — including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — and includes reconciliation instructions for 11 House authorizing committees to find at least $302 billion in deficit reduction.
Reconciliation allows expedited passage of certain budgetary legislation on spending, revenues and the federal debt limit with a simple majority vote in both the House (218 votes) and Senate (51 votes).
The House Budget Committee plans to start marking up the legislation on Wednesday and Thursday, and pass it out of committee. A vote by the full House could come next week.
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John Yarmouth, D-Ky., ranking member of the House Budget Committee, slammed the Republican budget for scrapping “any sense of responsibility to the American people and any obligation to being honest. Its repeal of the Affordable Care Act and extreme cuts to health care, retirement security, anti-poverty programs, education, infrastructure, and other critical investments are real and will inflict serious harm on American families.”
The rest of the budget, Yarmouth added, “is a fabrication, fantasy numbers solely designed to hide the deficit-exploding impact of the GOP’s $2 trillion in tax cuts for millionaires and big corporations, while forcing American families to pay the price.”
The new tax law, the GOP budget states, will grow the economy by 3% this year (on a year-by-year basis), citing the Congressional Budget Office, “which would mark the strongest growth since before the Obama administration.”
Mandatory spending, the House GOP says, “consumes approximately 70% of all federal spending. Without action, [the Congressional Budget Office] projects that mandatory spending will increase from $2.8 trillion in FY 2018 to $4.9 trillion in FY 2028.”
By that date, mandatory programs will consume 77% of total spending and will account for roughly 16.6% of GDP. Within overall noninterest mandatory spending, the two major social insurance programs are projected to continue growing faster than the economy as a whole.
The cost of Social Security is projected to rise from $984 billion in FY 2018 to $1.8 trillion in FY 2028, and Medicare spending is expected to increase from $707 billion in FY 2018 to $1.5 trillion in FY 2028.
“This level of growth is not only unsustainable but threatens each program’s solvency. In fact, CBO projects Social Security and Medicare will be insolvent by 2030 and 2026 respectively.”