The House on Thursday approved Rep. Paul Ryan’s 2014 budget on a largely party-line vote of 221-207.
The 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee’s spending plan aims to bring the federal books into balance in a decade by repealing President Barack Obama’s health care law, overhauling Medicare, rewriting the Tax Code and paring back government spending
Only 10 Republicans opposed the plan. All Democrats voted against it.
It’s the third year in a row that Speaker John Boehner’s majority has passed a budget, but the first year since the GOP took the House that the Senate majority will do one at the same time.
The two sides will now begin the arduous task of trying to find common ground between Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray’s diametrically opposed views for the future of America.
”We’ve done the hard work of bringing this plan forward,” Boehner said on the floor before the vote. “But this budget does more than just balance, it helps improve the lives and … addresses the things that are important to American families.”
The 10 Republicans who voted against the budget were Reps. Justin Amash of Michigan, Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey of Georgia, Rick Crawford of Arkansas, Randy Forbes of Virginia, Chris Gibson of New York, Joe Heck of Nevada, Walter Jones of North Carolina, Thomas Massie of Kentucky and David McKinley of West Virginia.
Ryan’s budget was the only one that passed the House — no alternative came close. The Democratic budget, presented by Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, garnered only 165 votes — 28 Democrats voted against it. The conservative Republican Study Committee’s budget, which balances the budget in four years, also failed, with 118 GOP lawmakers opposing it. Democrats voted “present” on the RSC’s spending plan, using a procedural gimmick to tweak Republicans. The Senate Democrats’ budget, which was put on the floor by GOP Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina, garnered 154 Democratic votes. The Congressional Black Caucus’s budget failed, 105 to 305, and the Congressional Progressive Caucus’s resolution went down, 84 to 327.
The week of budget votes — which took place before a two-week Congressional recess — is only the most recent fiscal battle in Washington. It was sandwiched in the middle of a year in which Republicans are caught between yearning to move beyond budgetary skirmishes and being wholly consumed by them. When Congress returns from its spring break, lawmakers will begin to wrestle with raising the debt limit, an issue that is expected to come up sometime between May and July.