House Budget Resolution Might Include Spending Reductions for Entitlement Programs
The House Budget Committee on Thursday and Friday plans to mark up the House fiscal year 2007 budget resolution, which likely will "attempt to trim mandatory spending programs while holding the line on discretionary spending," CQ Today reports.
According to CQ Today, the House budget resolution "will almost certainly take a tougher position" on spending for entitlement programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, than the Senate budget resolution. The Senate budget resolution, which passed on March 16, does not include spending reductions for entitlement programs proposed by President Bush. However, moderate and conservative House Republicans disagree over whether to seek spending reductions for entitlement programs this year.
Rep. Bill Thomas (R-Calif.), chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, has said that he does not expect the House budget resolution to include spending reductions for Medicare. As a result, House Budget Committee members will have "little flexibility to put together a package of entitlement savings," although they "might be able to propose $10 billion or a bit more over five years -- perhaps enough to appease conservatives without driving away moderate Republicans nervous about election-year cuts in social programs," CQ Today reports.
Meanwhile, House Democrats "will try to paint a Republican-backed budget resolution as stingy toward important programs while full of red ink," CQ Today reports (Dennis, CQ Today, 3/24).