By: Zack Duvall
House Republican leaders have formerly introduced their spending plan for fiscal year 2018, that they say is a needed balance between spending cuts and their plan for the start of the tax reform legislation promised to Americans throughout the 2016 election.
The budget proposal would allow for a complete overhaul of the U.S. tax code, and would allow for a partial repeal of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform law passed in 2010. The proposal by Republicans would also garner $203 billion in savings from cuts in federal programs over the next decade. These programs include food stamps, cash assistance, and other “safety net” programs funded by the federal government annually.
Critics, including some within the GOP, say that the cuts are too much at a time when the Republican party is already in an intense legislative and political battle over the fate of a GOP written and sponsored healthcare law. However, proponents of the new budget proposal cite the potential growth in the economy through the regulatory and tax cuts, that would put people back to work instead of being dependent on federal programs, and also allow for wage growth as well by taking revenue pressure off of businesses.
Although the bill would call for extensive cuts in government spending, conservatives within the Republican party want to see even more cuts in spending written into any bill that they would vote ‘yes’ on, while moderates within the GOP want to see more expansions to programs such as Medicaid and other entitlement programs.
Despite vocal criticism from virtually all Democrats in the House, and uncertainty in some GOP circles, the bill’s author, Budget Chairman Diane Black, R-Tenn., is confident that the proposal will be passed and praised the work that lawmakers who worked on the bill so far have put into the legislation. During the announcement of the plan, she also took the time to slam the “status quo” and cited how she believed the proposal would the changes set forth in the new spending deal would lead to an annual government surplus of $9 billion by 2027.
A sharp contrast to the current $472 billion a year deficit the nation is currently facing.
“The status quo is unsustainable. A mounting national debt and lack luster economic growth will limit opportunity for people all across the country. But we don’t have to accept this reality. We can move forward with an optimistic vision for the future, and this budget is the first step in that process. This is the moment to get real results for the American people. The time for talking is over, now is the time for action.” Black said during the news briefing Monday announcing the budget plan.
The plan includes $612.5 billion in defense spending for the year, and $511 billion in non-defense discretionary spending.
The spending plan would take effect October 1 and is set to be formerly introduced to the House floor for a formal vote in the coming weeks.