One branch of the caucus will be presenting a budget that's even more dystopian than Ryan's, "that claims to balance the budget in just five years, [...] pressing for larger cuts to Medicaid and the agency budgets passed by Congress each year." Another, working with a handful of Blue Dog Democrats, is going to introduce a budget based on the recommendations Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles made when their Catfood Commission failed to pass a report. That one is interesting because one of the favorite complaints of Republicans is that President Obama ignored Simpson-Bowles, so here's their chance to do something about that. It will be interesting to see how many line up behind that one.
But, as is pointed out in the AP story, none of these budgets is really going to be implemented, even if passed this week.
Instead, lawmakers will advance more pedestrian, politically safe goals: passing a routine round of annual spending bills as well as a special budget bill that would block automatic spending cuts to the Pentagon and domestic agencies from taking effect in January.What can be expected, though, is a House Republican bottom line in the final spending limits that breaks last year's debt ceiling deal. Reneging on that deal is apparently one of the few things House Republicans are united on.
To protect the Pentagon and domestic priorities like education from $78 billion in cuts next year alone, House Republicans would substitute a larger, $261 billion set of spending cuts—but ones that would take effect more slowly over the coming decade.
The result? A higher deficit in the coming budget year than if Congress simply put the government on autopilot and went home