• House Looks Unlikely To Pass Budget
  • April 18, 2016
  • Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
  • When Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) took the gavel last fall, there was optimism among all ideological stripes of Republicans that some of the battles of the past could be left behind and that the Republican caucus would be able to return to getting at least the basics done.

    Now it appears that House Republicans won't even be able to pass a budget. That's quite a turn of events in such a short period of time.

    House Freedom Caucus members, who were the thorn in the side of former Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) tenure, have apparently decided that the honeymoon is over for Paul Ryan.

    Freedom Caucus members are demanding that House Republicans abandon the bipartisan deal reached on spending in the final days of Boehner's speakership. Only 79 Republicans in the House voted for that deal, which set discretionary spending for fiscal 2016 at $1.067 trillion and raised it for fiscal 2017 to $1.070 trillion.

    The Freedom Caucus is urging that the deal be dumped and that $30 billion in cuts to mandatory spending be implemented, a move that would push the discretionary number to $1.047 trillion.

    Budget deals are always party line votes, which means if the 40-plus members of the Freedom Caucus walk, which they appear to be doing, then Ryan will not be able to get a budget done.

    Not getting a budget done is hugely problematic. Without agreeing to an overall topline number for mandatory and discretionary spending, it is virtually impossible for lawmakers to begin work on the annual appropriations bills that fund the government.

    Without a budget, and without individual appropriations bills, the House will be forced to move one large bill to continue spending at current levels.