US House Republicans try to beat Biden to punch on 2025 budget proposal


By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As the U.S. Congress struggles to pass legislation to fund the government through the fiscal year that began in October, House Republicans on Thursday sought to jump the gun on Democratic President Joe Biden by unveiling a plan for the next year.

The plan aims to balance the federal budget within a decade, cutting $14 trillion in federal spending in such areas as green energy subsides and student loan forgiveness while reducing taxes. It was approved in committee hours before Biden was to give the State of the Union Address and days before he was to unveil his own budget proposal on Monday.

“House Republicans have been long sounding the alarm on the fiscal challenges facing our nation and this budget plan takes steps to put the nation on the track to fiscal sanity,” House Speaker Mike Johnson said in a statement after the House Budget Committee adopted the blueprint in a 19-15 party line vote.

Democrats in the House blasted the plan as “backward and extreme.” The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Republican budget plan.

Johnson has struggled to pass legislation with his narrow House Republican majority and the Democratic-led Senate has repeatedly rejected demands of hardline Republicans. The House had to suspend its normal rules on Wednesday to pass a stopgap funding bill to avert a government shutdown, with substantial Democratic support.

Budget committee chairman Jodey Arrington said the budget plan would reduce the federal debt, which stands at over $34 trillion, create a $44 billion budget surplus in fiscal 2034 and stir economic growth by lowering taxes.

Democrats poured scorn on the blueprint, warning that it would punish American families and pointing to Biden’s budget, which is due to be released on Monday, as the true path to sanity.

“Today, we saw just how backward and extreme House Republicans’ vision for the future really is,” said Representative Brendan Boyle, the panel’s top Democrat.

The new Republican 2025 budget contains the same $1.6 trillion in base discretionary spending laid out in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, which Biden agreed to last year with former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Spending for fiscal 2024 totals $1.66 trillion.

The budget postpones severe spending cuts until fiscal 2026, after the November election that will determine control of the White House and Congress.

Committee documents show 2026 basic discretionary spending falling by more than $100 billion to $1.5 trillion.

Arrington said the budget would cut just over $14 trillion in spending over the next decade. It would eliminate programs long targeted by Republicans: Biden’s student loan bailout, green energy subsidies and expanded funding for the Internal Revenue Service.

(Reporting by David Morgan; Additional reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Scott Malone and David Gregorio)



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