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By Juliegrace Brufke
The House Budget is slated to release their 2018 budget resolution Tuesday, which includes instructions for reconciliation for tax reform.
The committee’s budget — which is expected to be marked up Wednesday — calls for steep cuts that would balance the budget over the course of a decade. The top-line levels are set at $621.5 billion for base defense and $511 billion for nondefense discretionary spending, including $203 billion in mandatory savings and reforms.
“The status quo is unsustainable. A mounting national debt and lackluster economic growth will limit opportunity for people all across the country. But we don’t have to accept this reality,” House Budget Committee Chairwoman Diane Black said in a statement. “We can move forward with an optimistic vision for the future and this budget is the first step in that process. This is the moment to get real results for the American people. The time for talking is over, now is the time for action.”
While GOP lawmakers in the lower chamber said there are likely enough votes for the measure to pass out of committee — the bill could face bigger problems on the House floor. The House Freedom Caucus has called for steeper cuts to mandatory spending and more details on the specifics of the tax reform plan. Moderates have also expressed concerns the cuts go too far.
“We don’t have any knowledge right now of what will be in the tax bill,” Virginia Rep. Dave Brat, a member of the powerful conservative group, told reporters Tuesday evening. “None. Zero. Everyone can guess, have nice feelings, be hopeful — but we have no knowledge of what’s going to be in there.”
HFC Chairman Mark Meadows told reporters he’s 100 percent confident leadership doesn’t have the votes to pass the measure in its current form.
While conservatives would like to larger cuts to mandatory spending, they did get a win with the inclusion of welfare reform in the measure.
The budget calls for steeper work requirements and gives the power over welfare programs back to the states.