Guantanamo War Crimes Tribunal, Republican Budget, Affordable Care Act, and Health Insurance (2012)
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Published on Jul 14, 2012
April 4, 2012
The Path to Prosperity: Restoring America's Promise was the Republican Party's budget proposal for the year 2012. It competed with budget proposals outlined separately by President Barack Obama. and the Congressional Progressive Caucus. The Republican proposal was formalized and passed by the House of Representatives on Friday, April 15, 2011 largely along party lines. No Democrats voted in favor of the bill and only four Republicans voted against it, which created a 235 to 193 end vote total. The four Republican members of Congress who voted against the bill were Walter B. Jones, Jr., David McKinley, Ron Paul and Denny Rehberg. A month later, the bill died in the Senate by a vote of 57--40.
The 2012 United States federal budget funds the operations of the federal government of United States for the fiscal year 2012, which runs October 2011 -- September 2012.
The Path to Prosperity: A Blueprint for American Renewal was presented as the Republican budget proposal for 2013 in March 2012. The proposal includes plans to end Medicare as it currently exists by converting it into a voucher-like program, cap non-defense discretionary federal spending at $1.029 trillion, and consolidate the six existing income tax brackets into only two.
Representative Paul Ryan, Chairman of the House Budget Committee, played a prominent public role in drafting and promoting both The Path to Prosperity proposals, and they are often referred to as the Ryan budget, Ryan plan, Ryan proposal, etc.
In March 2012, the House Budget Committee introduced a new version of The Path to Prosperity as their proposed budget for the fiscal year 2013. The proposal was authored by Paul Ryan and is intended to contrast with President Obama's stance on taxes and federal spending. The proposal aims to reduce the federal deficit to $3.13 trillion over the next ten years through measures including a cap on discretionary federal spending at $1.029 trillion and dismantling the Obama administration's 2010 healthcare reform law. Similarly to the 2012 budget plan, it focuses on cuts in federal spending—except on national defense—aiming to reduce spending by $5 trillion and balance the budget by 2040.
The proposal was endorsed by presidential candidate Mitt Romney and supported by the Republican party, however, according to Reuters, some Republicans in the House have stated that the proposal does not go far enough with its spending cuts. It was also criticized by House Democrats who claimed that the plan would negatively impact the middle class, seniors and lower-income Americans.
The proposal was criticized by President Obama in a speech at an Associated Press luncheon on April 3, 2011, where he claimed the plan amounted to "thinly veiled social Darwinism". In response, both Ryan and Romney stated that Obama had distorted the facts of the proposal, in particular its aim to reduce federal debt, and had used his criticism to distract from his own economic performance.
Conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation has praised the budget proposal for its cuts to federal spending and for making defense a priority, although it commented that the plan was not bold or aggressive enough with entitlement reforms and spending reductions. The proposal received criticism from progressive organizations, including the Center for American Progress, which argued that the plan would have a negative impact on all but the top 1% and "especially hurts communities of color."
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