• Ryan Budget Unveiled
  • April 7, 2014
  • Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
  • Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) introduced his annual Republican budget on Wednesday, which was formally adopted by the House Budget Committee which Ryan chairs. Ryan’s proposal brings the federal budget into balance in 10 years with $5.1 trillion in spending cuts.

    The Ryan budget, which has annually caused heartburn for some Republicans in Congress, has no practical application considering that the top-line spending number has already been set under the two-year “Ryan-Murray” agreement that both chambers passed earlier this year.

    The Ryan budget is intended, according to Ryan himself, to be a “roadmap” that will show voters the House Republican’s long-term vision for the country. This vision includes an embrace of dynamic fiscal scoring, a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, as well as cuts and changes to Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and other social safety-net programs.

    Ryan proposes turning more control of Medicaid and food stamps over to states—an annual proposal that some say would save money but has been a popular election-year target for Democrats.

    The plan also retains Ryan’s idea for each Medicare recipient to choose from a list of coverage options and payments that would “best suit his or her needs,” and then payments would be made directly to that plan. Longer term, the proposal discusses giving seniors who first become eligible when turning 65 on or after Jan. 1, 2024, a choice of selecting private plans alongside the traditional fee-for-service Medicare program.

    The only part of the budget not under the knife in the Ryan proposal is defense spending, which actually is increased under his plan.

    Some 40 percent of the $5.1 trillion in savings envisioned in Ryan’s “bigger picture” of the next 10 years is depicted as coming through a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. In all, his plan would spend about $42.6 trillion over 10 years, compared with about $47.8 trillion under existing policies.

    It is unclear at this point whether the Ryan budget will ever see a vote on the House floor, though Ryan has said it could move as early as next week. The Ryan budget could face opposition from conservatives who say it doesn’t go far enough and moderates who are worried that it could be an election year albatross in their districts.