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senate Bill S. Con. Res. 11

The First Senate Republican Budget Since 2006

Argument in favor

This bill reduces the deficit by making cuts to a number of programs, including Medicare, and by repealing the Affordable Care Act. It’s not easy, but it has to be done— the current state of U.S. spending is unsustainable.

Cebrith's Opinion
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03/25/2015
Americans need to get over their entitlement addiction. The current path is unaffordable and cutting military spending or further raising corporate taxes, which are currently among the highest in the world, are not the solution.
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EricRevell's Opinion
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03/26/2015
The track that the government is on now has deficits continuing in perpetuity. That isn't sustainable, and budget has to be balanced ASAP.
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Gary's Opinion
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03/25/2015
Cut 2% of every budget without automatic increases every year. Let every increase be voted on. No more spending binges by either party
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Argument opposed

This bill suggests reducing the deficit by either cutting or scaling back some of the most important government programs: the Affordable Care Act, Pell Grants, Medicare, the military. A balanced budget in ten years is not worth this.

BarackObama's Opinion
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03/31/2015
"This budget makes far too many cuts and to the wrong areas. $150 billion will be cut from programs such as pell grants that make education more affordable. It is important for our future to invest in education so that we have people to fulfill the demands of the future labor market."
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ElizabethWarren's Opinion
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06/15/2015
"The Republican budget is about making sure that a tilted playing field tilts even further, that the rich get richer, and everyone else gets left further and further behind." [twitter/senwarren]
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Sylvia's Opinion
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03/25/2015
This bill is a farce, and clearly caters to political interests instead of what is best for constituents.
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concurrent resolution Progress


  • The house Passed April 30th, 2015
    Roll Call Vote 226 Yea / 197 Nay
  • The senate Passed May 5th, 2015
    Roll Call Vote 51 Yea / 48 Nay
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Budget
    IntroducedMarch 20th, 2015

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What is Senate Bill S. Con. Res. 11?

This bill lays out the Federal budget for 2016, and puts forth a spending plan for the subsequent years from 2017 to 2025. The goal is to balance the country's budget in 10 years, and in that time, cut spending by $5.1 trillion. Spoiler: this budget cuts many programs and changes many existing services, all while employing some creative accounting.  


Perhaps most notably, this budget aims to support military programs while staying true the budget caps. Unlike the House budget, that increases defense spending by $94 billion with the help of the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund, a stash of money that can be used for defense purposes, but that is separate from Department of Defense or State Department funding — the Senate budget sticks to the $58 billion cap, and imposes a 60-vote point of order against any legislation requesting more than $58 billion for the war fund. As The Hill notes:  
"That would set a high hurdle for legislation requesting a total above that threshold and could provide the Senate with leverage in negotiations with the House."
Otherwise, the budget follows pretty similarly to the budget proposed by the House.

This budget too would repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and all the health care-related pieces of the Health Care and Reconciliation Act of 2010, a bill that amended the ACA. The budget authorizes the leaders of the Senate Finance Committee and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to repeal these acts, without the option of a filibuster.


This process, for whatever reason, is called “reconciliation” — or a tool that "makes it easier for Congress to change current law in order to bring revenue, spending, and debt-limit levels into conformity with the policies of the annual budget resolution." This budget also grants reconciliation rights on programs that deal with children’s nutrition or safety from sexual predators, a number of issues related to the entrenched Department of Veterans’ Affairs, infrastructure and transportation.


In addition to repealing the ACA, the bill would restructure Medicaid, by turning it into state by state grants. Cuts it seeks to make would come from Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps, totalling a whopping $4.3 trillion. As the New York Times notes, these cuts are mostly ideas that don't have solid plans for implementation: 

"Unlike the House budget, [the Senate] does not make specific policy prescriptions, such as converting Medicare into a voucher-like program that would allow recipients to buy subsidized insurance on the private health care market."

For all you students, this budget proposal also puts Pell Grants on the chopping block —a program that gives low-income students money for college that they don’t have to pay back. This budget would cut them by $90 billion, and another $60 billion from other higher education spending.


If this bill passed and all of its provisions were put into place, the the budget would be balanced by 2025.

Impact

Every person in the U.S., and every future government function.

Cost of Senate Bill S. Con. Res. 11

The CBO has not yet analyzed the specific policies that compose this budget, but has analyzed this proposal and its projected impact on deficits. It also has analyzed the federal debt held by the public compared to the CBO’s Extended Baseline (basically current law), its Extended Alternative Baseline (which incorporates tax provisions that are due to expire), and scenarios where deficits are cut by $2 trillion and $4 trillion over a 10-year period. It also found the amount of federal debt held by the public would be 55 percent in 2025, compared to 79 percent under the Extended Baseline and 88 percent under the Extended Alternative Baseline.

More Information

In Depth:

This budget comes with a whopping 28 amendments. That’s because the bill was open to amendments. If you had gotten down to the Capitol, you could have gotten them to declare that your cat was cute. Okay, not really, but you get the idea.


Of Note: 

Everybody’s got a budget plan. President Obama plan released in February,  would have increased both military spending and spending on social programs. It also would have increased taxes. The Senate rejected it on Tuesday, March 24, 98-1. Ouch.  Either way, he's the man with the pen, and he's said that any bill with sequestration will get a big fat veto stamp on it. 


Media:

Sponsoring Rep. Michael B. Enzi (R-WY) Press Release

Sponsoring Rep. Michael B. Enzi (R-WY) #BalancedBudget

The Hill

National Priorities Project

The New York Times

CBO Budget Projections 2015 to 2025 (Context)

CBO Budget AnalysisC-Span


Summary by James Helmsworth

(Photo Credit: Flickr user 401(K) 2013)

Official Title

An original concurrent resolution setting forth the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2016 and setting forth the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2017 through 2025.

    Americans need to get over their entitlement addiction. The current path is unaffordable and cutting military spending or further raising corporate taxes, which are currently among the highest in the world, are not the solution.
    Like (35)
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    "This budget makes far too many cuts and to the wrong areas. $150 billion will be cut from programs such as pell grants that make education more affordable. It is important for our future to invest in education so that we have people to fulfill the demands of the future labor market."
    Like (145)
    Follow
    Share
    "The Republican budget is about making sure that a tilted playing field tilts even further, that the rich get richer, and everyone else gets left further and further behind." [twitter/senwarren]
    Like (37)
    Follow
    Share
    The track that the government is on now has deficits continuing in perpetuity. That isn't sustainable, and budget has to be balanced ASAP.
    Like (34)
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    This bill is a farce, and clearly caters to political interests instead of what is best for constituents.
    Like (29)
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    Again, this bill repeals the Affordable Care Act. This is unacceptable. It helps too many people.
    Like (24)
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    Cut 2% of every budget without automatic increases every year. Let every increase be voted on. No more spending binges by either party
    Like (23)
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    Remember the elections. The people have spoken
    Like (12)
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    Cut the military budget, not affordable health care. We all want to cut the deficit, but this is not the way to go about that!
    Like (11)
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    We have a great need to reduce governmental spending across the board, and this budget would begin to accomplish that. Having a balanced budget is not enough; we must reduce the percent of government spending in relation to our total spending, leaving more for you and I.
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    I worked for my Social Security benefits, others should have to work for theirs as well. There are no entitlements. That's money that was taken out of my paycheck during my entire working carreer which spanned 41 years. Cuts to Social Security and Medicare should not happen. Welfare programs should be cut, people should work, the system of free handouts for generations after generations of families must end.
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    This makes more cuts than it should to defense and takes to long to get our budget solvent, but it's definitely a step in the right direction. We need to start cutting "mandatory" spending, which accounts for the majority of our budget.
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    Like it or not we have to reign in the spending across the board. If the American public has to tighten their belt then we should expect no less from our government;they, after all, are employed by us.
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    GOP is the party of the plutocrats they have done a bang up job of deceiving the middle class in to thinking otherwise. GOP uses single voter issues like abortion and gun control to agitate their base GOP supporters most likely hate most of the trash the party proposes but for an issue like abortion they are willing to ransom their future just to get their way on that one issue
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    Most government spending is unconstitutional or unnessasary. The federal government was never meant to be as large as it is and has no reason to spend as much money as it does.
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    What happens when Republicans control both chambers of Congress? Things get done, that's what! There hasn't been a budget passed for the last 6 years since Democrats controlled the upper chamber and the presidency. Good job, guys. Keep up the good work.
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    The Affordable Care Act caused my family's premiums to skyrocket over the last several years—so much so that we can no longer afford insurance. So we are out of luck, but a family living close by who's patriarch is supposedly medically exempt from working, is frequently in n out of jail for drug trafficking, family members are frequently revived by EMS and Narcan, can have free healthcare. I am all for getting rid of this expensive system that rewards drug addicts, helps only a few hardworking people at the expense of many. I would rather delegate my tax dollars elsewhere.
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    STOP TRYING TO DEFUND MEDICARE!!!
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    I resent voting "yea" on this because I need the pell grant and affordable health care for my own stability, but our $16 trillion debt must be paid somehow. Let's not have a repeat of Greece, where selfishness caused an unpayable debt leading to default.
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    Shouldn't be spending more than we have to begin with!
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