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House, Senate Committees Advance FY2016 Budget

This week, the House and Senate Budget Committees approved their respective versions of the FY2016 Budget Resolution. The nonbinding resolutions provide a blueprint for federal spending for the upcoming fiscal year.

House Budget Resolution

On March 19, the House Budget Committee approved, 22-13, its version of the FY2016 budget resolution (as-yet-unnumbered).

According to the committee summary and plan, the measure proposes $5.5 trillion in spending cuts and would balance the federal budget in less than ten years. The resolution assumes $2 trillion in savings with repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (P.L. 111-148). Expansion of the Medicaid program under the ACA also would be repealed.

The legislation would convert the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid program into block grant programs that would allocate money to the states. The resolution also would rescind the changes the Obama administration made to work requirements under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

During its consideration of the measure, the committee rejected:

  • An amendment by Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) to increase the budget for SNAP, 13-22; and
  • An amendment by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) to increase the budget for programs partnering with states to increase access to preschool and pregnancy and early childhood home visitation programs, 14-22.

Senate Budget Resolution

The Senate Budget Committee approved its version of the FY2016 budget resolution (as-yet-unnumbered) also on March 19 by a vote of 12-10.

According to the committee summary and supporting document, the measure would cut federal spending by $5.1 trillion and would balance the budget in ten years. The legislation would repeal the ACA and would instruct the Senate Finance and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions to draft legislation to replace it.

Like the House resolution, the Senate budget resolution would convert Medicaid into a state block grant program and combine it with the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

During its consideration of the resolution, the committee adopted, 15-8, an amendment by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to create a reserve fund “related to welfare legislation to help struggling Americans on the road to personal and financial independence.”

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