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House Budget Committee Adopts FY2012 Budget Blueprint

On April 6, the House Budget Committee approved, 22-16, its FY2012 budget resolution (as-yet-unnumbered), which provides a nonbinding guideline for federal spending. The House is expected to consider the legislation next week.

Sponsored by Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI), the budget would provide $1.019 trillion in discretionary funds for FY2012. That amount is $58 billion less than the current FY2011 continuing resolution (P.L. 112-6), $102 billion less than President Obama’s FY2012 budget request, and $72 billion less than FY2010.

The resolution would provide $36.6 billion for international affairs; $19.8 billion for agriculture; $67.1 billion for education, training, employment, and social services; $341.9 billion for health; and $481.5 billion for Medicare.

According to the committee’s report, the resolution also would make changes to several programs, including Medicaid and Medicare. With regard to Medicaid, the resolution would convert the federal portion of the program into a state block grant. Medicare would be reconstituted to allow seniors to receive federal subsidies to purchase coverage from private health plan providers.

The resolution also would convert the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program) into a state block grant that would be indexed to inflation and contingent upon individuals working or receiving job training.

During consideration of the resolution, the committee adopted, by voice vote, an amendment by Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) to express support for additional legislation to ensure that states have the resources necessary to collect and distribute child support payments.

The committee rejected:

  • An amendment by Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) to increase funding for health programs by $1 billion in FY2012, 14-21;
  • An amendment by Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) to increase funding for education services to Head Start and elementary and secondary students by $6.6 billion, 16-22; and
  • An amendment by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) to increase funding for medical research at the National Institutes of Health by $2.51 billion, 15-22.
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