House Passes Paul Ryan’s Budget, But That’s as Far as It’ll Go

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The House of Representatives’ passage of Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget came as no surprise to anyone — nor should John Boehner’s harsh rhetoric come as a shock, since the only thing that would actually raise eyebrows would be the budget’s survival in the Senate. Dubbed “path to prosperity” by its creators, the budget would cut food stamps and Medicaid, as well as including a provision for removing Obamacare, leading President Barack Obama to call the budget a “stinkburger” in a speech given in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

For House Speaker Boehner (R-Ohio), the bill is Republicans’ “vision for getting Americans back to work,” and for Ryan, it’s “a matter of trust,” because “Who knows better: the people or Washington? We have made our choice with this budget.”

The House passed the budget with a vote of 219-205, with all House Democrats voting against it, as well as 12 House Republicans. The budget’s increase to national defense and decrease in social programs has led the president to criticize it for sacrificing the well-being of the middle class, but Boehner claims it will aid in job creation.

“The House is going to continue to focus on the American people’s priorities: creating good-paying jobs, increasing wages, and expanding opportunities for all Americans. This means reforming our job training and skill programs, advancing bipartisan charter school legislation, critical water and highway infrastructure bills … and repealing and replacing Obamacare,” said Boehner at a recent press briefing. He also referenced the coming election, saying that Democrats who “continue to play their usual politics” by “pitting one group of Americans against another” have “fallen flat,” as Americans see that “these political votes provide no answers.”

Every bill going through Congress recently — and for the foreseeable future — has had the emphasis of the coming election placed on it. Democrats have their electoral preparation going on in the form of an incumbent protection plan. Those Democrats facing difficult competition in the election are given the opportunity to be front and center on bills that will matter most to their voters, and they will get their faces on camera during a time when publicity is important.

Now, they are hitting back on the budget proposal, saying that it will hurt America’s elderly. “It is a path to ruin, it is not a path to prosperity,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), per USA Today. Others hit hard on the angle that the budget shows favoritism to wealthy Americans — a popular argument in light of the Koch brothers’ faces in the news of late.

“This House Republican budget is the worst that I’ve seen in the past three years for the United States of America. At every juncture in this House Republican budget, they choose to protect powerful special interests and the very wealthy at the expense of the poor and everyone else,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) to USA Today.

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