• GOP Budget Plan Hits Snag
  • February 12, 2016
  • Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
  • The honeymoon for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) may be coming to an end - at least when it comes to the budget.

    At the urging of Speaker Ryan, House Budget Chair Tom Price (R-GA) was intending to write a budget that maintained boosted spending levels from the budget deal last fall in the closing days of John Boehner's (R-OH) Speakership, even though Republicans, including Price, overwhelmingly voted against the deal.

    The Ryan-Price path forward relies on enticing Republicans, who opposed the deal last fall, to support a budget with promises to use the budget reconciliation process to secure other important conservative legislative goals.

    Price told reporters, "leadership has charged us with... writing the budget to the letter of the law, which is the [Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015] level.... I think the way that’s done that will attract the support of members of our conference across the array of positions is to utilize reconciliation for, again, something that is able to clearly define the difference between those of us who are trying to solve the problems that we’ve got here and those who are standing in the way.”

    House conservatives, however, aren't biting. They fear that this plan by Ryan and Price puts too much faith in the Senate.

    Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), a member of the Tea Party aligned House Freedom Caucus told reporters this week that, “I see no evidence they’re going to take up a budget. I see no evidence they’re going to allow the appropriations process to move forward."

    And if the Senate doesn’t take up a budget at all, these Republicans argue, any reconciliation effort in the House would be a lost cause. That offers little incentive to back a spending outline that they philosophically reject.

    Another Freedom Caucus member, Rep. David Brat (R-VA), who is also a member of the House Budget Committee, said he would consider voting for a budget resolution in line with what Price has proposed, but only if he had written confirmation that the Senate was on board with this plan.

    Even if Price is able to assuage concerns about the Senate acting, a handful of Freedom Caucus members remain opposed to the Ryan-Price approach.