A $3.8 trillion budget plan for the 2016 federal fiscal year cleared the Republican-led U.S. House Wednesday by a 228-199 vote.
Seventeen Republicans, none from Illinois, joined Democrats in voting 'no' on the fiscal blueprint, which outlines more than $5 trillion in spending reductions over a decade.
The budget plan proposes increased defense spending and seeks to wipe out federal deficits over 10 years.
House leaders used an uncommon parliamentary maneuver that allowed the chamber to vote on multiple budgets. With this strategy, the House advanced the budget measure that garnered the most votes.
The GOP-controlled Senate could consider its separate budget proposal this week.
U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL,17) said she voted against the Republican House fiscal blueprint due in part to its proposed changes to Medicare and cuts to the federal Pell Grant program:
Where we allocate our resources is a clear demonstration of what we value as a nation. That's why I voted against today's anti-middle class budget that ends the Medicare guarantee and makes devastating cuts to investments in the future of our nation, like to Pell Grants and Head Start.
This budget would put the dreams of a higher education even further out of reach for many, and it slashes funding for infrastructure projects and for our veterans.
Democrats and Republicans need to work together to balance the budget and return our country to sound fiscal footing. But placing the burden on the backs of seniors, students and working families is the wrong approach and one I'll continue to fight against.
U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL,11) issued this statement voicing his opposition of the GOP House budget:
Once again we are seeing a budget that would increase financial stress on the middle class, end the Medicare guarantee, and force seniors to pay more for health care and for prescription drugs. This budget would return to the very same policies that destroyed our economy: wars and military spending paid for on the backs of the hardworking Americans, tax cuts skewed to the wealthy that produce no jobs, and underinvestment in education, research, and infrastructure that are the lifeblood of our nation's economic growth.
Meanwhile, Americans United for Change is calling out U.S. Reps. Bob Dold (R-IL,10), Mike Bost (R-IL,12) and Rodney Davis (R-IL,13) for their support of the budget and "break[ing] campaign promise[s] to protect seniors."
Brad Woodhouse, president of Americans United for Change, issued the following statement about the Republican-backed fiscal plan and its support from the three aforementioned Illinois congressmen:
The GOP budget endorsed by Congressmen Rodney Davis, Bob Dold and Mike Bost is a Blueprint of Broken Promises to seniors and a Roadmap to Ruin for millions of Americans who would lose their health coverage. It's a great deal for big health insurance companies, outsourcers and billionaires like the Koch brothers, but it's a raw deal for everyone else. Republicans say their budget plan is "serious" and makes "tough choices" to balance the budget. The fact that they don't close a single special interest tax loophole says otherwise. The fact they stuffed their budget with even more irresponsible tax giveaways to millionaires and outsourcers while hiking the average working family's taxes by $2,000 shows that they aren't serious at all. Never mind that they use Enron-style accounting gimmicks to cover up the fact they don't come close to actually balancing the balance.
What is very 'serious', however, is the consequences of the GOP plan for seniors, the middle class and most vulnerable Americans. Congressmen Davis, Dold and Bost want to immediately take away news prescription drug benefits under the health law that have already saved seniors billions of dollars. Without offering any replacement for the Affordable Care Act, Davis, Dold and Bost would leave 16.4 million Americans uninsured and make legal again the worst wealth insurance industry practices dropping people when they get sick, deny care to kids born with "pre-existing" conditions, or charging women double the premiums men pay. At the same time Republicans offer Big Oil companies uninterrupted taxpayer subsidies, they want to Voucherize Medicare, gut Medicaid, freeze Pell Grants and slash food assistance for single parent families. Their priorities couldn't be more mixed up.
When has robbing from the poor and middle class families to give to the rich ever been a recipe for a strong economy? Ask President George W. Bush how well it worked out for him. While President Obama's policies have led to 60 straight months of private sector job growth, Congressmen Davis, Dold and Bost want to slam on the brakes and go back to the failed trickle-down policies that caused the Great Recession.