Today, the House will consider H.R. 2560, the so-called “Cut, Cap and Balance Act” – which California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi has said should be called the “Cut, Cap, and End Medicare Act.” The bill incorporates the House GOP budget that ends Medicare as we know it, and then would requires deeper cuts and elimination of core services through spending caps and the call for a GOP constitutional “balanced budget” amendment.
The venerable Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has analyzed the bill, and their director says it “stands out as one of the most ideologically extreme pieces of major budget legislation to come before Congress in years, if not decades.”
Here’s the House Budget summary from Democratic staff: http://democrats.budget.house.gov/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=2049
And the veto threat from the White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/112/saphr2560r_20110718.pdf
Today’s vote is theater, facing Senate and Presidential opposition, but it needs to be clear how damaging these proposals are, to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and core services that Americans depend on. They would also be disastrous for states like California, who would find significant costs and responsibilities shifted to them, when they are doing their own round of cutting.
Beyond the substance of the bill, the act of this vote is not helpful, as the nation comes closer to the debt ceiling deadline, and a real resolution needs to be worked out.