Democrats propose new $110 plan for new taxes, spending cuts,
WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Thursday proposed a $110 billion plan to cut projected budget deficits and replace automatic spending cuts scheduled to take effect March 1.
The plan calls for a combination of tax increases and cuts in projected spending — echoing President Obama's demand that any alternative includes tax increases.
Senate Democrats hope to vote on their package the week of Feb. 25. Their proposal would allow the government to avoid the $85 billion in across-the-board fiscal 2013 cuts, known as the sequester. Instead, it would replace 10 months of sequestration with new taxes and different spending reductions spread out over 10 years.
The plan includes $55 billion in new tax revenue from a minimum 30 percent tax on most millionaires and ending some oil-industry tax breaks and a benefit that encourages companies to ship jobs overseas. About $55 billion would be saved by cutting $27.5 billion from Defense — exactly what is not specific — and saving $27.5 billion by ending direct payments to farmers. All savings are calculated over a 10-year period.
The White House praised the plan.
“Senate Democrats offered a balanced plan to avoid across-the-board budget cuts that will hurt kids, seniors, and our men and women in uniform. The plan includes spending cuts that won't harm middle-class families while closing tax loopholes that benefit the wealthiest,” said press secretary Jay Carney.
The package, however, faces at least two huge obstacles.
The legislation would need 60 votes to clear procedural hurdles in the Senate. Democrats control 55 seats, and Republicans have made it clear they're in no mood for more taxes.
Even if the proposal were approved, it still would need to be passed by the Republican-led House, which barely would have time to consider or change the measure.
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash., insisted that once lawmakers hear from constituents, and the impact of the sequester becomes clearer, Republicans will soften their position.
“We have a week and a half to get public support with us,” she said.
Republicans, though, don't agree with Murray.
“This is not a solution. Even they know it can't pass — that's the idea,” said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. “It's a political stunt designed to mask the fact that they've offered no solutions and don't plan to offer any. And it's a total waste of time.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Hungry bears push into Denver area
- Video footage expected to aid in hunt for 3 sought in shooting of Illinois police officer
- California wildfires impede holiday fun
- Rock threatens base of Arizona dam
- Bidens remain unsure of readiness for campaign
- 1 Marine killed, 9 hurt in helicopter hard landing
- Gay couple receives marriage license from controversial Ky. clerk’s office
- Boeing names next space fleet
- Top Dem on panel says he’ll oppose Obama’s nuke deal
- Exploration of sunken German U-boat shown online
- Charter schools unconstitutional, Washington state’s top court rules