House to take up Senate budget resolution with no ag mandate
The House is expected this week to take up the fiscal year 2018 budget resolution that the Senate passed last week, Senate Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy signaled in the leader’s weekly schedule released late Friday.
The schedule lists, but does not give a day for, “Consideration of the Senate Amendment to H.Con.Res. 71, Establishing the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2018 and setting forth the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2019 through 2027.”
The announcement indicates that the House will not insist on taking its budget resolution to conference with the Senate.
The Senate resolution calls for a $1.5 trillion revenue reduction, but would also allow an increase in military spending, which pleased House conservatives.
The Senate resolution to which House Republicans apparently will agree also eliminates the $10 billion cut to programs under the House Agriculture Committee’s jurisdiction that was contained in the House resolution, although there are still budget assumptions that could lead to cuts in programs.
“I commend House and Senate leadership for producing a final budget that preserves our ability to craft an effective, efficient farm bill while also allowing us to move forward with efforts to simplify the tax code,” House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway, R-Texas, said in a statement to Politico.
Jim Weill, the president of the Food Research & Action Center, said in a statement that the Senate budget resolution “paves the way for massive tax cuts for the wealthy that will increase inequality and build pressure for years to come to cut the safety net and undermine investments in America’s future.”
“To pay for these tax cuts, the Senate budget resolution assumes a reduction of trillions of dollars for critical programs over the next 10 years, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), low-income tax credits, Medicaid, and programs that assist persons with disabilities,” Weill said.
“Rather than tax cuts heavily tilted toward the rich, and a downward path for help to the neediest among us, we need greater investments in proven and effective anti-hunger and anti-poverty programs.”
The resolution is expected to allow the Republicans to consider tax reform without needing 60 votes to pass in the Senate.
Heritage Action, which had called for cuts to programs, praised the deal.
“Heritage Action applauds the 51 Senate Republicans who voted to approve the budget,” said CEO Michael Needham.
“It marks yet another critical step forward in the decades-long effort to reform our nation’s stagnant and convoluted tax code. This once in a generation opportunity to unleash economic growth, create jobs and increase wages cannot be squandered.”
–The Hagstrom Report