On Monday, the House Republican Study Committee unveiled an aggressive plan to balance the federal budget in just four years. The plan, from the internal conservative caucus of the GOP Conference, achieves balance much faster than Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)’s budget released last week. Ryan’s plan would achieve balance in 10 years.
The RSC budget is built on many of the same elements as the Ryan plan. It just implements them faster. The RSC moves up the implementation of Ryan’s Medicare reform proposal five years earlier, for example. It also imposes lower caps on non-defense discretionary spending, achieving a net reduction in actual spending. The Ryan plan, by contrast, simply lowers the rate of increase in discretionary spending.
The RSC budget also gradually raises the retirement age for both Social Security and Medicare. The increase in the retirement age, however, wouldn’t begin until 2024. Surpluses generated under the plan would go to pay down national debt, rather than lowering tax rates.
Although 2/3rd of the House GOP are members of the RSC, its budget plan isn’t expected to pass the House. The RSC budget, though, does provide a kind of conservative conscience for the GOP caucus. Ryan’s budget plan released last week is nearly identical to a budget plan proposed by the RSC two years ago.
LA Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) has said that RSC members would be urged to vote for both plans.
“I think Paul has put together a document that can get 218 votes,” GA Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA) said. “I don’t know if I’m going to get 218 votes on [the RSC] budget. I certainly hope that we will.”