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House Passes Ryan’s Budget 228-191, Rejects Obama’s 0-414

Today, the House passed a budget -- something Senate Democrats haven’t bothered to do in nearly three years (1,065 days, to be exact).

The budget, drafted by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, resembles last year’s Ryan budget. It now goes to the Senate, where Harry Reid and his fellow Democrats aren’t likely to take it up. 

The House also voted on President Obama’s budget. Want to guess how many votes it got? Zero. That’s right. No one voted for it, not even the Democrats. Ouch. That’s gotta hurt.

The House voted the President’s budget down unanimously by a vote of 0-414. Last May, the Senate voted down the Obama budget, 0-97. The White House is on a roll.

Anticipating the humiliation, the administration attempted to discredit the vote ahead of time by calling the whole exercise a “gimmick.” Considering that President Obama’s last two budgets have both failed to garner even a single vote in either chamber of Congress, perhaps his budget proposals are the gimmicks?

The process involved votes on a series of competing budget proposals. Members were able to vote for any or all of them. The one that passed first would become the base text, and the one that passed last would become the House position and go over to the Senate. In the end, only one budget passed: the GOP leadership-backed Ryan budget. 

After voting down the Obama budget unanimously, the House also voted down a series of three liberal budget proposals:

  • The House Democratic leadership proposed a budget that hikes taxes by a trillion dollars, spends $3.704 trillion in the first year, and adds more than $6 trillion to the debt over ten years. It failed by a 151-236 vote. 
  • The Congressional Black Caucus proposed a budget with $3.9 trillion in new taxes in addition to the tax hikes proposed in President Obama’s budget. It failed by a 107-314 vote. 
  • The Congressional Progressive Caucus budget hikes taxes, creates a $1.034 trillion deficit in the first year, and takes ObamaCare several steps farther by enacting the unpopular “public option”. It failed by a 78-346 vote.

The House also considered a “moderate” budget proposal:

  • Reps. Jim Cooper (D-TN) and Steve LaTourette (R-OH) introduced a budget in the mold of the 2010 “Simpson-Bowles” debt commission. Although its supporters labeled it the sole “bipartisan” budget proposal, it did not garner significant support from either party. Only 22 Democrats and 16 Republicans voted for the proposal, which failed by an embarrassing 38-382 vote. 

Finally, the House considered two conservative budget proposals:

  • The FreedomWorks-endorsed Republican Study Committee (RSC) budget would cut spending by $7.579 trillion over the next ten years, cut taxes, repeal ObamaCare, and enact significant entitlement reform. It failed, 136-285.

The 175-member RSC offered the only budget that met the balance-in-seven-years requirement of the Goodlatte Balanced Budget Amendment (H.J.Res. 2), which the House voted on last fall. Sixty percent of the House and 98 percent of House Republicans voted "yes" on the Goodlatte BBA. The RSC Budget failed, alas, despite strong support from fiscal conservatives both inside and outside of Congress; the vote was 136 in favor to 285 against. Sadly, of the 285 “noes”, 101 came from Republicans who had previously voted for the balanced budget amendment. 

The RSC budget comes the closest of those offered to the Tea Party Budget. That’s why FreedomWorks decided to “key-vote” in favor of it, counting it as a essential vote on our scorecard of votes that determine which members are truest to the tea party principles of smaller, constitutionally limited government. We didn’t key-vote any of the other budget plans, not even Ryan’s, which, while a good start, doesn’t go far enough to avert the coming debt crisis.

  • Paul Ryan (R-WI) and the House Budget Committee’s “Path to Prosperity: A Blueprint for American Renewal” budget would cut $4.150 trillion over the next ten years, cut taxes, repeal ObamaCare, and enact significant Medicare and Medicaid reform. It passed, 228-191.

Not a single Democrat voted in favor of the Ryan budget, and 10 Republicans voted against it: Reps. John Duncan (TN), Chris Gibson (NY),  Walter Jones (NC), David McKinley (WV), Todd Platts (PA), Denny Rehberg (MT), Ed Whitfield (KY), Justin Amash (MI), Joe Barton (TX), and Tim Huelskamp (KS).

Five Republicans voted only for the RSC budget: Justin Amash (MI), Joe Barton (TX), Tim Huelskamp (KS), Paul Broun (GA),  and Ron Paul (TX). These men are all staunch fiscal conservatives who feel, as many of our members do, that the Ryan budget, while a good start, doesn’t go far enough to avert the coming debt crisis. 

For more details on the competing budget plans, see our handy FreedomWorks Budget Report Card.

The main lesson that supporters of smaller, constitutionally limited government can take away from all of this is that, despite the historic gains we achieved in the 2010 elections, we need to send even more fiscal stalwarts to Washington like the ones who voted for the RSC (conservative) budget today -- and especially those who voted only for that budget.