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Summary & Analysis of Democratic Amendments Offered to FY 2012 Budget at House Budget Committee Markup

Apr 8, 2011

This week the House Budget Committee marked up the Republican budget resolution for fiscal year 2012, which was approved on a strict party line vote with no Democratic votes in support.

Democrats know we need to reduce the deficit, but reject the way the Republican budget resolution goes about doing so. The President's bipartisan Fiscal Commission showed that any responsible effort requires a balanced approach that addresses both spending and revenue. The Republican budget fails this simple test, slashing vital government services to the most vulnerable – Medicare for seniors, Medicaid for low-income families and disabled individuals, and food assistance for those in need – while providing more tax breaks to millionaires and big corporate special interests.

Committee Democrats offered 20 amendments seeking to reorient the budget's priorities – to prevent immediate jobs losses, to reduce the deficit in a balanced manner that addresses both spending and revenue, and to stop cuts to vital services such as health care, education, public safety, health research, food safety.

None of the Democratic amendments would have increased the deficit, and in fact, several would have reduced the deficit significantly. All of the amendments offset any new spending proposed for key priorities by reducing unproductive tax breaks, including subsidies for big oil companies, egregious tax earmarks such as tax deductions for corporate jets, loopholes in our international corporate tax system that encourage the shipping of American jobs and capital overseas, and additional tax cuts for millionaires.

Republicans rejected all of the amendments that would have increased the budget's funding level, choosing to protect special interest tax breaks instead.