Despite the fact that the blueprint agreed upon by the House Budget Committee Wednesday decimates federal healthcare spending and other federal programs, it's still not enough for the Republican extremists, and there likely aren’t enough votes to pass it any time soon, according to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
"More conversations among members will be required before moving the budget to the floor," McCarthy said during a House floor colloquy with House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).
McCarthy's comments came a day after the House Budget Committee advanced a 2017 spending blueprint. But resistance from the roughly 40-member House Freedom Caucus means Republicans currently don't have enough votes to pass the budget on their own.
House Republicans in recent years have typically scheduled floor votes for their annual budgets within a week after committee passage.
But this year, fiscal hawks remain opposed to the spending levels established by last year's budget deal negotiated by President Obama and former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
Speaker Paul Ryan and team can only lose 28 votes without having to rely on Democrats to pass something. And Democrats sure as hell aren't going to help pass this. It's a throwback to Ryan's previous budgets, complete with turning Medicare into a voucher program. But there's so much more.
This spending blueprint would eliminate the subsidies people enrolling through Obamacare get for their health insurance. It would slash Medicaid, add work requirements for benefits like food stamps, raise the eligibility age for Medicare to 67, cut student loan subsidies, end a program that helps states fund various programs for the poor (the Social Services Block Grant), and make federal workers pay more into their pension funds. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities calculates that the programs for the poor that make up only 28 percent of domestic spending would suffer 60 percent of the cuts in this budget.
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