U.S. House approves plan to help wealthy, slash Medicare, Medicaid | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, October 5, 2017

U.S. House approves plan to help wealthy, slash Medicare, Medicaid

Posted By on Thu, Oct 5, 2017 at 1:08 PM

The U.S. House today voted 219-206 (no Democrats on the prevailing side) for a budget framework that would, if adopted, lavish tax cuts on the wealthy and slash support for Medicare, Medicaid and other programs that help those on the lower end of the income scale.

All Arkansas House members voted for the proposal.

The point of the vote today was a parliamentary procedure that will allow the budget to avoid a Senate filibuster. Said the New York Times:

For Republican lawmakers still looking for a major legislative achievement in the Trump era, the hard part still remains. President Trump and Republicans in Congress need to agree on the contents of a bill to overhaul the tax code, a challenging task.

Democrats offered a starkly different take, arguing that Republicans were clearing the way for a partisan tax plan that would benefit the rich.
Americans for Tax Fairness is already anticipating the worst. It said in a release:

Earlier today, the House of Representatives voted 219 to 206 in favor of the Republican House budget resolution that proposed $5.8 trillion in cuts over the next decade to Medicare, Medicaid, education, infrastructure and other critical services while paving the way for trillions of dollars in tax cuts that would mostly benefit the wealthy and corporations. The vote was almost entirely along party lines, with 18 Republicans joining all Democrats against the resolution.

The budget resolution also set up a procedure for fast-track consideration of tax legislation, enabling Senate Republicans to bypass bipartisanship to pass a tax plan with just 51 votes, rather than 60 votes typically required for such contentious legislation.

Congressional Republican leaders and President Trump released a framework for massive tax cuts last week that will cost at least $2.4 trillion, according to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center. The wealthy and corporations, which are primarily owned by rich shareholders, are the big winners. About 80% of the tax cuts will flow to the top 1% by 2027, when they would get a tax cut of $207,000, on average. That year under the plan, 3 out of 10 middle-class families making between $50,000 and $150,000 a year will pay $2,000 more in taxes, on average, depending on their income (the range is $1,300 to $2,500).

These large tax cuts will balloon the deficit and further jeopardize funding for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and education. Included in the $5.8 trillion in cuts to services under the House-passed budget are Medicaid and other healthcare programs ($1.5 trillion), Medicare ($487 billion), and nutrition assistance ($150 billion).

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