Feb. 12, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

House Budget Priority: Energizing Election-Year Base

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Ryan’s fiscal blueprint is shaping up to be more political than previous budget resolutions.

Getting enough Republican votes to adopt the budget without any Democratic support will be a challenge, however, since 62 Republicans opposed the Ryan-Murray budget deal. Most of them voted against it because it raised the fiscal 2015 discretionary spending cap. The budget resolution is expected to maintain that higher spending level.

But several Republicans who voted against the deal said they would consider supporting a budget resolution if it contains other policies that reduce the deficit.

Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., was booted off the Budget Committee in 2012 after voting against Ryan’s budget that year. The conservative lawmaker voted against the budget resolution again last year.

But this year, he said, he is more likely to support it, though he is waiting to see what it includes.

“In recent, previous years, the budget violated the Budget Control Act,” he said, because it proposed raising defense caps at the expense of non-defense caps.

Though he opposed the increases in discretionary spending in the Ryan-Murray deal, Amash said, “It is what it is now.”

But the election-year dynamics may be what matters most, because any legislative action will end in the House.

“This is a paper budget,” Sabato said. “It isn’t going to happen, not now, and not as long as President Obama is in office, even if the GOP takes over the Senate in November. It’s called the veto. So voters won’t see or feel any difference.”

Sabato said Democrats are sure to make hay over deeper spending cuts in the budget resolution, but he doesn’t think that will make much difference.

“They would have cited cuts in earlier proposals anyway,” he said. “Viewers’ eyes glaze over when numbers pass before them in TV ads. Does it really make much difference to party voters whether the figure cited is $100 billion or $500 billion? It’s a lot of money either way.”

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