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Budget Watchdog: House Plan Out of Step with Most Americans

According to a budget watchdog group, the current House budget plan does not line up with most Americans' expectations of where they want their tax dollars spent. (iStockphoto)
According to a budget watchdog group, the current House budget plan does not line up with most Americans' expectations of where they want their tax dollars spent. (iStockphoto)
April 14, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. – As House lawmakers continue a debate over their federal budget this week, a budget watchdog group is comparing the details of three big proposals.

The National Priorities Project (NPP) looked over budget plans from President Barack Obama, the House Budget Committee and the Congressional Progressive Caucus's People's Budget.

Lindsay Koshgarian, the NPP’s research director, says the current House proposal falls short of the other two plans.

She says that's because it does not include funding for new infrastructure jobs and the House plan would repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would invalidate Medicaid expansions adopted by 31 states, including North Dakota.

Koshgarian says the People's Budget puts the most emphasis on jobs and the economy.

"The People's Budget proposes to pay for these programs partly by cutting some wasteful spending (in) government, but also by raising the highest individual tax rate back to the level that was seen under Ronald Reagan," she points out.

But the final details of the House plan are still being hammered out. And because of a longtime disagreement over budget cuts between House Republican leaders and Tea Party supporters, it is likely that House lawmakers will miss Friday's budget voting deadline.

Koshgarian says her research on public opinion polls shows that Americans want to see more federal investments in areas such as job creation, infrastructure, education, and the social safety net.

Out of the three proposals, she says the Congressional Progressive Caucus's plan hits most of those buttons.

"The People's Budget far and away matches the priorities that Americans have the best in terms of creating jobs and education and protecting programs that are extremely popular with Americans, like Medicare and Social Security," she states.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters Wednesday that he is considering all options for the House budget plan as negotiations are expected to continue into at least next week.

Brandon Campbell, Public News Service - ND