The House narrowly passed Paul Ryan’s budget plan today but this isn’t the beginning of Ryan’s road to redemption just yet. No Republican leaders expect the bill to make it through the Senate. For House Republicans, passing the bill was more of a symbolic gesture than it was a ringing endorsement.
The House approved the budget with a vote of 221-207. All House Democrats and 10 Republicans voted against passage. The budget voted on today is non-binding. Its sole purpose is to act as a set of guidelines for Republicans for the upcoming year. Rep. Paul Brougn (R-GA) said he could not vote for something “that would trick the American people into believing that Congress is fixing Washington’s spending problem.” Rep. Tom Massive (R-KY) also voted against the bill because he believes the Ryan budget actually increased spending instead of cutting it. The Republicans who voted against the budget plan today did so because they are against passing budgets as non-binding resolutions.
The Senate is debating its own set of budget measures proposed by Democrats. Republicans and Democrats do not anticipate their respective budgets to go anywhere. Republicans will never agree to all the Democrats tax increases and Democrats will never agree to all the Republicans entitlement cuts. That is why both sides propose these non-binding budget resolutions in the first place. This way they can tell their constituents they did something about spending in Washington without actually having to do anything about the spending in Washington. Genius.
Luckily, Congress won’t have to think about things like budgets as they depart Capitol Hill for a two-week recess.
You can read my take on the Ryan budget here.