Bipartisanship may be the word of the year this year, as Democrats and Republicans decry hyper-partisanship in Washington during the era of Trumpism and its maladjusted leader, President Donald Trump.
And so it came to pass on Thursday, when 20 Republicans found their moral compass long enough to join every House Democrat in voting against the so-called Ryan-McConnell Republican Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Resolution, which also goes by the ironic name of “Building A Better America.”
Budget Resolution: “For too long, the federal government’s excessive spending has put future generations at risk. Massive tax increases or crippling austerity measures are the natural conclusion of our current rate of spending, and future generations will pay the price. Failure to take swift and decisive action is not only inexcusable, it is immoral.”
The measure makes massive cuts to valuable social and economic programs to offset huge tax cuts for the wealthy, according to one report from one Ohio Congressman who was present for the vote.
Trump and complicit Republican legislators argue that a rewrite of the tax code will jump-start the economy. The White House and its Republican army can now begin work on a $1.5 trillion tax cut, the AP reports.
Congressman Tim Ryan (D-Niles), who was present and voted no, issued a statement following Thursday’s vote.
“This Republican budget is nothing more than a laundry list of broken promises,” said Ryan, who made a failed attempt to unseat House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco earlier this year. According to Ryan’s assessment of the bill and what it would do, “Congressional Republicans would hand tax breaks to billionaires, and pay for them on the backs of senior citizens and hardworking Americans.”
Ryan and others see the budget in its true light: Devastating to the nation’s long-term stability, because it will stifle innovation, and suppress job creation. In a different time, when hyper-partisanship was limited to a handful of wackos instead of most Republicans serving in the House and Senate, a bill like Ryan-McConnell would have been a nonstarter.
But in today’s juiced up political environment, where one or two nasty tweets from Trump is enough to send some screaming for their political life for fear of being primaried by a candidate even more to the political right than they are, or, in the case of Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, to quiet life outside of elected politics, the defection on such a large bill by 20 Republicans is a cause for celebration for Democrats and a warning sign to Republicans that some in their party may have the guts to just say no to a president and party that wants to upend the nation for the sake of upending establishment politics.
“Every Republican who voted YES today, voted to increase the national deficit by $1.5 trillion,” Ryan said in his statement. Included in the bill is a reduction of $473 bill in Medicare and $1 trillion to Medicaid, a federal-state program for the poor that mostly impacts children, women and seniors. For the 216 who voted for it, Ryan says they “voted to gut funding to repair our nation’s infrastructure by nearly $200 billion … And voted to cut Pell Grants by more than $100 billion, making college less affordable for nearly 8 million working class students.”
Ryan said this Budget Resolution, and the tax plan it paves the way for, does nothing to position the United States for long term economic growth.
“In fact it achieves the opposite,” he said.