Paul Ryan and Debbie Wasserman Schultz Tangle on Budget Proposal

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: April 3, 2014 3:55 AM
Paul Ryan and Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Paul Ryan and Debbie Wasserman Schultz

This week, U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., unveiled the Republican proposal for the 2015 fiscal year budget and drew fire from a prominent congresswoman from Florida. 

Ryan, who was former Gov. Mitt Romney’s, R-Mass., running mate on the 2012 Republican presidential ticket and a possible contender for his party’s presidential nomination in 2016, introduced the budget proposal on Tuesday and spotlighted it at the House Budget Committee meeting on Wednesday. The House leadership is considering bringing Ryan’s plan for a full vote later this week.

The proposal, which Ryan dubbed the “Path to Prosperity,” would cut $5.1 trillion from federal spending, mostly from domestic programs, over the next 10 years and would repeal President Barack Obama’s federal health-care law. Ryan’s proposal would allow more free-market options in Medicare. Pointing to  Congressional Budget Office (CBO) studies showing a balanced budget would lead to economic growth, Ryan insisted his plan would balance the budget over a 10-year period and will help reduce the national debt.

“This is a plan to balance the budget and create jobs, and it builds off a simple fact: we can’t keep spending money we don’t have,” Ryan said. “This budget provides relief for families. Too many Americans struggle to make ends meet, while Washington continues to live beyond its means. It’s irresponsible to take more from hard-working families to spend more in Washington. Today’s proposal -- the Path to Prosperity -- shows that it’s not too late to tackle our country’s most pressing challenges.

“The Bipartisan Budget Act was a good first step,” Ryan added. “But we can and must do more. As the House majority, we have a responsibility to lay out a long-term vision for the country, and this budget shows how we will solve our nation’s biggest challenges. By cutting wasteful spending, strengthening key priorities, and laying the foundation for a stronger economy, we have shown the American people there’s a better way forward.”

With this being an election year, Democrats looked to fire away at Ryan’s proposal. Republicans are expected to easily keep control of the House and their efforts to flip control of the U.S. Senate from Democrats appear to be picking up steam in recent weeks. With November looming, Democrats are looking to tie Republicans, including U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., to Ryan’s proposal.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), has been front and center in opposing Ryan’s proposal and trying to set the stage for further attacks on congressional Republicans who back it.

“A budget proposal of this magnitude should reflect the priorities of a dynamic, diverse, and growing nation,” Wasserman Schultz said. “Instead, Chairman Ryan has forged a familiar and previously rejected path that rewards wealthy individuals and corporations with tax breaks and punishes middle- and low-income families with punitive cuts to essential services.

“In particular, cutting Medicare as we know it is a cruel way to achieve the GOP’s zeal for fiscal austerity at all costs, as is the nonstarter of repealing the Affordable Care Act,” Wasserman Schultz added. “Any budget that seeks balance on the backs of our seniors and our most vulnerable citizens does not deserve to see the light of day in the House of Representatives.

“It is clear that Chairman Ryan has no desire to work with the president and Democrats on a more sensible, balanced budget plan – even in the aftermath of his own Ryan-Murray deal that showed the potential for future bipartisan collaboration on behalf of a stronger nation,” Wasserman Schultz continued. “The Ryan Plan redux returns to the same unfair, harmful Republican policies that have been repeatedly rejected by the American people.”

Wasserman Schultz also pointed to the 2012 presidential election in which Ryan played a prominent part.

“We rejected these ideas in 2012 and in the years since, and we're not going to back down no matter how many times Paul Ryan brings them up,” Wasserman Schultz insisted.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

Comments (3)

Chris Wheeler
6:47PM APR 5TH 2014
I agree with the comments so far, but I would add that with the latest Supreme Court decision the ideas of Paul Ryan are in greater danger of being foisted on the American people.
8:00AM APR 3RD 2014
Watching the meeting I could not help but get annoyed at the obvious partisan politicking behavior going on. One side did not want to even consider an amendment which would have created a clause eliminating ANY chance of a tax increase upon the citizens/taxpayers of these United States. Instead, Mr. Ryan had a rollcall vote on the amendment which fell along party lines, demonstrating how badly each side represents US!
Mr. Ryan would rather collect our last nickels and put them in his own pockets, rather than going along with a simple amendment to protect those of us who actually pay taxes. Mr. Ryan's arrogance shined through very clearly during yesterday's meeting and upon completing the meeting I was able to completely make my mind up of at least one possible presidential candidate I would NEVER consider to be lucky enough to have my vote. Mr. Ryan deserves to be returned to the milk farm in Wisconson, without a federal pension!
7:42AM APR 3RD 2014
Why Paul Ryan is taken seriously is a measure of how weak the Republican Party is intellectually. Ryan's "Budget" is more beating up of the poor and middle class and facillitating the continuing transfer of wealth to the top. Plus, irony of ironies, while proposing to repeal PPACA-Obamcare it claims the saving that PPACA-Obamcare is already realizing and will continue to realize in Medicare expense's as part of his plan. Hypocrite=Ryan.

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