And the Budget Winner Is... Paul Ryan
The pair called the move “an admission that our budget creates too many jobs and saves too many popular government programs to be discussed when the public is watching.”
The Congressional Black Caucus also had a budget on the floor, which included an $841 billion financial speculation tax and increasing individual Pell grants $1,000 each over the president's budget. The CBC claimed their budget would reduce the deficit an additional $769 billion over the Republicans' plan over the next decade.
It failed with 107 votes to 314 members in opposition.
CBC Chairman Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), who called last fall's debt-ceiling deal a "sugar-coated Satan sandwich," slammed Ryan's budget without demonic food analogies.
"Budgets should be a window into the moral compass of our conscience as a nation—and our compass is evidently off," Cleaver said. "The American people do not deserve this. …Hardworking American families may not be the priority of the Republican leadership, but they are the priority of the ‘Conscience of the Congress’: the Congressional Black Caucus."
Still, the House liberals got more votes than poor Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson.
A budget proposal built off the recommendations of President Obama's bipartisan deficit-reduction commission choked on 38 "yes" votes Wednesday night, with 382 members voting "no."
Sponsors Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio) and Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) touted it as the only truly bipartisan budget plan on the menu.
“The bipartisan Simpson-Bowles plan had been vetted, but never tested," said Blue Dog Cooper. "Powerful special interests and the leaders of both parties opposed it tonight, but 38 brave souls were willing to do the right thing for the country. When we eventually solve our nation’s deficit problem, the final blueprint will look like this.”
Still, the entire hodgepodge of budget proposals all fared better than President Obama's spending plan, which got a doughnut hole's worth of votes as 414 members united against it.
It was because Republican Mick Mulvaney (S.C.) introduced Obama's budget as an amendment to the GOP spending plan, with Democrats brushing off the move as a gimmick.
“It’s not a gimmick – unless what the president sent us is the same,” Mulvaney said. “We are voting on the president’s budget. I would encourage the Democrats to embrace this landmark Democrat document and support it.”
White House spokesman Jay Carney was not asked about the lonely lack of votes at today's press briefing, but the administration did issue a statement from the press secretary on Ryan's budget.
"Today’s vote stands as another example of the Republican establishment grasping onto the same failed economic policies that stacked the deck against the middle class and created the worst financial crisis in decades. …Any serious attempt at tackling our deficits must be balanced, fair and demand shared responsibility. The Ryan Republican budget clearly fails that test."
Even though the victorious Ryan plan now heads to a Senate not known for passing budgets, Democrats were still licking their wounds over the predictable vote.
"In light of the fact that the Super Committee failed to find $1.2 trillion in cuts or revenues, it is unlikely that anybody will figure how to fill this $5 trillion hole in the Republican Budget," said Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.). "…Last night, the House of Representatives considered several alternative budgets to the Republican Budget, including one offered by the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) of which I was the primary author."
"The Republican Budget chose millionaires," he said. "We chose Medicare."