On April 10, the House of Representatives passed its FY15 budget resolution H.Con.Res. 96, known as the “Path to Prosperity,” by a narrow margin. The vote was 219 in support and 205 opposed. Twelve Republican members voted with the Democrats to oppose the budget resolution.
The “Path to Prosperity,” introduced by House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) on April 1 (see Memo, 4/4), calls for broad cuts to social programs including food stamps and Pell education grants, repealing the Affordable Care Act, increasing the defense budget, and maintaining large tax breaks for wealthy individuals and businesses. Mr. Ryan’s budget has been widely criticized for its drastic cuts to social programs, with some Democrats referring to it as “The Path to Ruin.”
Democratic Members of the House Budget Committee put forth their own budget plan for FY15. The “Democratic Alternative Budget,” introduced by House Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), would increase funding for Function 600 Income Support. This section of the budget includes resources for most rental assistance programs. The Democratic Alternative Budget would fund Income Support at $532.2 billion for FY15, compared to the Path to Prosperity funding level of $505.7 billion.
The Path to Prosperity FY15 budget resolution will have little effect on the FY15 appropriations process because the FY15 discretionary spending cap was negotiated in December 2013 in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. The Administration and Congressional appropriators have already based their budget and appropriations work on that FY15 spending cap. The Ryan budget simply signals what Republicans would like to do if they controlled the budget process.
View the vote results: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2014/roll177.xml
View the “Path to Prosperity”: http://budget.house.gov/uploadedfiles/fy15_blueprint.pdf
View the House Democratic Alternative Budget here: http://democrats.budget.house.gov/issue/democratic-budget-fy-2015