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House Approves Republican 2012 Budget Plan to Cut Trillions.
House Republicans on Friday muscled through a budget plan that pares federal spending by an estimated $5.8 trillion over the next decade while reshaping Medicare in a proposal that immediately touched off a fierce clash with Democrats.
Just one day after Congress concluded its fight over this year’s spending, the House voted 235 to 193 to approve the fiscal blueprint for 2012 drafted by Representative Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin and chairman of the Budget Committee. Besides reconfiguring the Medicare program that now serves those 65 and older, the proposal would cut the top corporate and personal income tax rates while also overhauling the Medicaid health program for the poor.
The vote represents the most ambitious effort yet by the new Republican majority in the House to demonstrate that it intends to aggressively rein in spending and shrink government. It doubles as a challenge to President Obama over which party is more determined to force a sharp shift in the handling of federal dollars.
On the House floor, Democrats ridiculed the notion that Mr. Ryan’s $3.5 trillion plan for next year was somehow bold for zeroing in on health programs despite political risks. They accused Republicans of promoting a morally skewed vision of America by taking savings out of medical care for older Americans and the poor while supporting tax breaks for corporate America and the affluent. The budget proposal would maintain the tax rates enacted during George W. Bush’s presidency and extended last year.
“It is not courageous to provide additional tax breaks for millionaires while ending the Medicare guarantee for seniors and sticking seniors with the cost of rising health care,” said Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the senior Democrat on the Budget Committee.
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