The tagline of House Republicans' latest attempt to balance the budget over the next decade without touching Social Security or raising taxes is "a plan for fiscal responsibility".
If Republicans are hellbent on implementing tax reforms through the reconciliation process, they may be forced to scrap the House's budget blueprint in favor of a shell budget-which, as Roll Call explained, is a "barebones" plan that outlines topline spending limits and reconciliation instructions for the tax-writing committees, but forgoes "the hundreds of pages of aspirational policy ideas" included in regular order budgets like the plan proposed Tuesday.
The strategy, embedded in the House GOP fiscal 2018 budget, faces a host of political and procedural obstacles, including numerous same ones that derailed the party's health-care bill in the Senate.
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney proclaimed, "It is a bold effort that follows the leadership of President Trump in Making America Great Again". The White House expects GDP to grow about 3 percent annually over the decade, much higher than the 1.9 percent that CBO and many private economists expect.
As proposed by House leaders, tax reform would essentially be deficit neutral, which means cuts to tax rates would be mostly "paid for" by closing various tax breaks such as the deduction for state and local taxes. "The status quo is unsustainable". "But we don't have to accept this reality". They plan to use a two-step process to get what they want: First, pass the budget resolution, and then get a tax cut done during the so-called budget reconciliation process.
If the proposal clears the committee it's unclear when the full House will vote on it because GOP leaders are still gauging internally whether they have the votes to pass it. Democrats are already blasting the proposal and are expected to oppose it so Republicans can't risk losing more than roughly 20 votes in order to approve the budget.
The House budget proposes increasing the base national defense budget by $70.5 billion, from $551 billion in fiscal year 2017 to $621.5 billion in fiscal year 2018. It may claim $200 billion in spending cuts.
Are we on a sustainable path?
The borrowing was approved on a 10-6 vote, with Assembly Republicans and Democrats on the Joint Finance Committee in support and GOP senators against. It would add nearly $30 billion to Trump's $668 billion request for national defense.
But in the immediate future the GOP measure is a budget buster.
House Republicans were able to narrowly pass the American Health Care Act in early May, only to have Senate Republicans start from scratch on their version, vowing to make it better than the House's. That legislation's provisions would allow consumers to buy health insurance across state lines and reform the medical liability system.
For those wondering if North Carolina's congressional delegation has GOP members in some of these committees, the answer is yes: House Ways and Means (George Holding, 2 District); Education and Workforce (Virginia Foxx, 5 District); Energy and Commerce (Richard Hudson, 8 District); Agriculture (David Rouzer, 7 District).
Such reform, he said, "has got to be part of who we are as Republicans". It would also implement a "mandatory work requirement for able-bodied, non-elderly, non-pregnant adults without dependents who are enrolled in Medicaid".