DENVER — The House approved a fiscal 2015 budget on Thursday that would cut federal spending by $5 trillion and significantly revamp social welfare programs.
Not a single Democrat voted for the budget, drawn up by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin; the proposal, which has no shot at passing the Democrat-controlled Senate, is basically a political document, a policy proposal being used to highlight partisan differences heading into the midterm elections.
Democrats took aim at Republicans who supported Ryan’s budget, which reduces health care coverage and subsidies under Obamacare while slashing Medicaid and other health care programs, and cuts funding for food stamps, education and farm programs.
Specifically, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee blasted Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Mark Udall this fall, for supporting what it dubbed “the Koch budget”, a reference to the billionaire oil and gas magnates who are helping Finance the GOP’s campaign efforts and who stand to benefit from Ryan’s proposed budget.
“Cory Gardner is standing by Charles and David Koch and their reckless agenda that hurts women and their families while benefitting billionaires like the Kochs,” said Regan Page, a DSCC spokeswoman.
“By supporting the GOP’s reckless ‘Koch Budget,’ Cory Gardner is jeopardizing economic security and health care rights for women while providing tax giveaways for millionaires. Cory Gardner is sending a message loud and clear to women of Colorado that if elected to the Senate, he will put special interests like Koch brothers first, not women and middle class families.”
The DSCC hinted that TV spots are in the offing that will highlight Gardner’s support for the Ryan budget.
Romanoff blasts Coffman
Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, is among the most vulnerable incumbents seeking reelection in Congress, but he, too, supported the Ryan plan.
“Even though I wish the budget more boldly reformed spending across the board, the fact is a plan that wipes out deficit spending over 10 years is progress,” Coffman said in a statement. “For those who say that this modest plan cuts Washington spending too deeply, I have a simple question — what is your plan to address the nation’s $650 billion annual budget shortfall and $17 trillion debt crisis?”
Democrat Andrew Romanoff, the former statehouse Speaker who is challenging Coffman for his seat, released a statement after the House vote Thursday.
“The Ryan budget does not reflect the values most Americans share. It would force middle-class families to pay more in taxes, students to pay more for college, and seniors to pay more for health care,” Romanoff said.
“The House I led balanced the budget every year. But we didn’t do so on the back of the middle class.
“Some estimates suggest the Ryan plan would cost the country as many as three million jobs,” he continued. “Among the other casualties: 170,000 at-risk children, who would lose access to Head Start.
“The winners? Those in the highest income bracket, pharmaceutical manufacturers and corporations that offshore their employees.”