“This budget resolution puts our nation on a path to balance by restraining federal spending, reducing tax burdens and boosting economic growth,” Mr. Enzi said.
The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said that without the budget resolution, Democrats would “continue to play partisan politics and obstruct our efforts to get our economy flourishing and growing at its full potential.”
Democrats made clear that they would try to use the budget outline against the Republicans, calling the plan fiscally irresponsible and harmful to the middle class.
“The Senate Republican budget is the clearest sign yet that Republicans are intent on pursuing a tax plan that would blow a huge hole in the deficit and stack up debt, leading to cuts in programs that middle-class Americans rely on,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the top Senate Democrat. “This budget would green-light a tax scheme that could very well put Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid on the chopping block.”
Senator Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont and the Budget Committee’s ranking member, denounced the blueprint as “one of the most destructive budgets in modern American history.”
“This budget is the Robin Hood principle in reverse,” Mr. Sanders said. “At a time of massive income and wealth inequality, the Republican budget takes from the middle class and those in need, and gives huge tax breaks to the wealthiest people in this country.”
The resolution uses the same parliamentary procedure to allow the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to draft legislation that would reduce the budget deficit by at least $1 billion over the next 10 years. That language would free up the committee’s chairwoman, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, to pursue her long-sought opening of the Arctic refuge to oil exploration. Such an opening would generate revenue for the government.
Republicans and Democrats have battled for decades over the refuge, but with a supportive president and unified Republican control of Congress, the budget instructions could finally break the stalemate.
In order to pass legislation using the procedures that would protect it from a filibuster, both the House and the Senate will need to agree on a budget resolution for the 2018 fiscal year.
The budget resolution sets spending and revenue levels, amounting to a fiscal road map for the coming years. The House Budget Committee approved its own budget resolution in July, and although it had been stalled in that chamber for some time, the full House is expected to vote on the measure next week.
Last week, two Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee resolved a major looming issue in that chamber by coming to an agreement on the size of the tax cuts that would be permitted under the parliamentary language included in the budget blueprint.
The senators, Bob Corker of Tennessee and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania, agreed on allowing tax cuts that would cost as much as $1.5 trillion over a decade. But Mr. Corker, an outspoken deficit hawk, said he would not vote for a final tax plan if it would add to the deficit, based on what he has described as “valid models” that take into account economic growth.
The budget resolution instructs the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee to develop the tax legislation by Nov. 13.
The measure also instructs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the House Natural Resources Committee to develop their deficit-reducing legislation by the same date.
Mick Mulvaney, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, called the Senate budget resolution “a critical step to advance President Trump’s agenda to provide tax relief for the middle class and unleash economic prosperity for all Americans.”
“I urge the Senate to pass this resolution,” Mr. Mulvaney said, “and come to a swift agreement with the House so President Trump can sign America-first tax relief into law this year.”
Continue reading the main storySource: New York Times – Politics