The U.S. House of Representatives will vote on about $40-billion worth of budget cuts on Thursday evening, after Republicans and Democrats reached a deal last week that prevented a government shutdown. The budget package includes a wide range of cuts to domestic programs and services, including high-speed rail, emergency first responders and the National Endowment for the Arts. On Wednesday, President Obama presented his deficit reduction plan, which involves a mix of spending reductions and tax hikes on the wealthy, which the White House claims would cut the federal deficit by $4-trillion over twelve years, without gutting Medicare and Medicaid. Republican House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan also unveiled his contrasting plan, which calls for cutting the debt by $4.4-trillion over the next ten years, and would overhaul Medicare and Medicaid while reducing the corporate tax rate to 25 per cent. Democrats and Republicans still have to vote on raising the debt ceiling before the government reaches it’s borrowing limit of $14.29-trillion later this spring. If Thursday’s budget vote is passed in the House, it then must be passed by the Senate and be signed by Obama in 24 hours.
Thursday, April 14, 2011