By passing their budget blueprint, Republicans have taken "the first step toward an immoral tax scheme that will hand trillions of dollars to millionaires and corporations."
by Jake Johnson
By a vote of 219 to 206, the House on Friday approved a GOP-crafted budget resolution that proposes more than five trillion dollars in cuts to key safety net programs like Medicare and Medicaid to pave the way for massive tax cuts for the wealthy and massive corporations.
No Democrats voted for the budget, and 18 Republicans voted against it.
Crucially, the resolution includes parliamentary language that eliminates the possibility of a Democratic filibuster in the Senate and will allow the GOP to "fast-track" their tax cuts with only 51 votes instead of the typical 60—the same procedure Republicans utilized in their failed attempt repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF), denounced the GOP budget resolution in a statement following Thursday's vote, arguing it is "the first step toward an immoral tax scheme that will hand trillions of dollars to millionaires and corporations at the expense of America's working families, many of whom will actually see a tax increase."
"These tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations will ultimately be paid for by cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, education, disability services, and other national priorities," Clemente added, "while the expansion of the deficit will further threaten Social Security."
While the specific spending cuts in the House GOP budget resolution—which include a trillion dollars in cuts to Medicaid—are non-binding, they are nonetheless an indication of the devastating steps Republicans are willing to take in order to deliver more wealth to the richest Americans.
The ATF offered the following breakdown of the cuts proposed under the Trump-GOP tax framework compared with the spending cuts proposed in the House budget resolution:
Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Council on Civil and Human Rights, argued Thursday that the "federal budget is a representation of our country's moral values."
House Republicans' vote in support of the proposed budget, Gupta concluded, "is an abdication of that responsibility."
The GOP-controlled Senate is expected to vote on its own budget blueprint in two weeks.
An analysis (pdf) released Wednesday by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Democrats on the Senate Budget Committee found that House and Senate Republicans are on the same page when it comes to "eroding" the safety net in pursuit of massive tax cuts for the rich.
As Common Dreams reported, the Senate's budget blueprint proposes cutting Medicare and Medicaid by a combined $1.4 trillion over the next decade.
Following the House GOP vote on Friday, Sanders concluded: "The Republican budget contains cuts that will kill people, cuts that will hurt people, cuts that should not be allowed in a humane society."