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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Republicans Ramming Trump’s Budget Through The Senate

GOP seems to think if they work fast, no one will notice how badly they are screwed
By Sarah Okeson

Image may contain: textThe Republican Senate is poised to try to ram through its version of the budget for running our country with the potential impact of the bill publicly known only hours before the vote.

A provision deep in the Senate budget resolution for fiscal 2018 calls for throwing out a requirement that the Congressional Budget Office score of the legislation be made public at least 28 hours before a vote.

“They are doing this in order to rush deficit-increasing tax legislation through,” said Ed Lorenzen of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Joe Brenckle, the communications director for the Senate Budget Committee, said the requirement was “found to be unnecessary.”

The Congressional Budget Office produces nonpartisan estimates of the budget costs and other effects of legislation. The CBO reports on Republican efforts to kill off the Affordable Care Act and take away health insurance from millions helped doom the legislation, at least for now.

And Republicans are peeved. Some House Republicans have tried to cut the agency’s funding in half or eliminate staffers’ jobs.

“At some point, you’ve got to ask yourself, has the day of the CBO come and gone?” said White House budget director Mick Mulvaney.

The Senate Budget Committee began marking up—amending and rewriting—the budget resolution Wednesday afternoon and is scheduled to continue today. The proposed House budget would require a tax plan that doesn’t add to the deficit.

The secrecy provision is a small part of the Senate budget resolution that would only need 50 votes, not the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster. The Senate plan would cut taxes as much as $1.5 trillion over the next decade and hugely favors those with incomes of more than $730,000 a year. Taxpayers in the bottom 95% would have tax cuts averaging 1.2%.

The CBO has already cast doubt on the wishful numbers in Trump’s budget which projected 3% growth and ending the deficit within a decade. The CBO forecast growth of 1.8% to 1.9%, a $720 billion deficit and dramatic cuts in social programs.

Action Box/What You Can Do About It

Let the Senate know how you feel about this budget proposal. Call the Senate Budget Committee at 202-224-0642; fax to 202-224-4835.

The chairman is Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.). Write to the committee office at 624 Dirksen Senate Office Building / Washington, D.C. 20510 or Enzi’s office at 379A Senate Russell Office Building / Washington, D.C. 20510. Here is Enzi’s Twitter page.

Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is the top opposition member of the committee. You can contact Sanders at 332 Dirksen Building / Washington, D.C. 20510; 202-224-5141 or fax 202-228-0776.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget can be reached at 202-596-3597.