Here’s a rundown of today’s action. House Republicans Approve Budget That Ends Medicare, Slashes Taxes on the Wealthy.Just like they did last year, Republicans almost unanimously voted for a radical budget proposal that ends the Medicare guarantee in order to partially* offset deep tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. How radical is the plan the House passed today? It would pull the rug out from under the elderly (and more or less everyone else in one way or another) while giving millionaires a $265,000 tax cut on top of what they’d each get from the expiring Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. The parade of horribles for the elderly, students, low-income Americans, the middle class, the housing market, our public lands, and virtually every facet of society is too long to list here, but check out our complete coverage of this disastrous budget for all of the details.
10 Republicans, some of whom thought the proposal did not go far enough, voted against it, while ZERO Democrats voted in favor of the extreme plan.Even slashing Medicare and nearly every other program or service that Americans benefit from each day isn’t enough to pay for the Republican plan’s massive tax cuts for the wealthy. These tax cuts are so big that the Republican plan actually makes the deficit and debt worse. Though 51 Senators voted in favor of the bill (Maine’s Republican Senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, joined with 49 Democrats), it was defeated due to the Senate’s now-standard 60-vote requirement. Unfortunately, four Democratic Senators — Ben Nelson (NE), Mary Landrieu (LA), Jim Webb (VA), and Mark Begich (AK) — joined 43 Republicans in siding with Big Oil to vote down the proposal.
Big Oil is well-known for making it rain in the halls of Congress, but a closer look at its largesse in the context of today’s vote is particularly shocking. The 47 Senators voting to protect $24 BILLION in giveaways to Big Oil have received a whopping $23,582,500 from Big Oil. The 51 Senators who stood with the 99 Percent received less than a quarter of that sum.