In its last legislative business before the Easter recess, the House of Representatives approved its budget plan, drafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). The House also passed a Continuing Resolution, authorizing government spending through the end of the fiscal year in September. The CR now goes to the White House for President Obama’s signature. The CR prevents a government shutdown when current spending authority expires next week.
The final vote on passage of the Ryan budget was 221-207, with just 10 Republicans defecting and voting against the budget plan. The blueprint assumes the repeal of Obamacare, enacts tax and entitlement reform, and lowers the growth in discretionary spending. It is estimated to balance the budget in 10 years.
The House agreed to changes to the CR made in the Senate, allowing the quick action on Thursday. The CR keeps in place the sequestration cuts scheduled between now and September 30th, although it provides agencies with greater flexibility in achieving those cuts.
The White House had sought additional funding to implement ObamaCare and financial services regulation, but failed to win the funding from either party.
Congress is out of session until the week of April 8th, when new talks on a fiscal year budget will begin again. The White House has indicated that it will release its budget proposal then, but talks between the House and Senate likely will be too far advanced to have any effect.