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Republicans advance 2025 budget blueprint ahead of Biden’s State of the Union

The GOP-led House Budget Committee on Thursday voted to advance a budget resolution that includes ambitious proposals aimed at cutting federal spending, beefing up work requirements for social programs and the establishing a special commission to tackle funding threats to entitlements.

The committee voted along party lines to advance the proposal after an hours-long markup hearing that began early Thursday.

While the resolution won’t be signed into law, Republicans hope it will serve as a blueprint for spending for the coming fiscal year as Congress works to wrap up its fiscal 2024 funding work this month.

Republicans say the proposal seeks to reduce the nation’s projected deficits by $14 trillion over the next decade, while achieving the party’s goal of balancing the federal budget in the same time frame — but not without proposed cuts that have already run afoul of Democrats.

Among the proposals Republicans are recommending as part of the plan are measures to beef up work requirements for Medicaid and reduce annual government spending, while targeting previous economic policies passed when Democrats last had control of Congress.

The resolution also recommended implementing House Republicans’ signature border bill, known as H.R. 2, which would boost wall construction and the hiring of border agents and restrict access to asylum, among other measures.

“Today, President Biden will try to convince Americans that the State of the Union is good and that our lives are better,” committee Chair Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-Texas) said at the top of Thursday’s hearing. “For the sake of our country, I wish it were so, but unfortunately, it couldn’t be further from the truth.”

“After three years of one self-inflicted crisis after another, President Biden will not only not be able to suspend reality, but he also won’t be able to convince the American people of his words because of his recent actions.”

The vote occurred just hours ahead of the president’s scheduled State of the Union address later on Thursday, in which he is expected to outline his plan to crack down on wealthy individuals and corporations.

The coming address provides a potential glimpse into what to expect when the president unveils his budget proposal for fiscal 2025 next week, which White House officials have already said includes plans to cut projected deficits by $3 trillion over the next decade.

The forthcoming plan is likely to arrive in direct contrast to proposals sought by Republicans.

As part of the resolution advanced on Thursday, Republicans also call for a bipartisan fiscal commission to explore ways to shore up solvency for Social Security and Medicare, as well as equalizing Medicare payment between hospitals and doctor offices.

Another portion of the resolution also calls on lawmakers to look for “opportunities to strengthen measures related to employment, integrity, and health” for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the food stamps program.

The mention comes after Republicans previously pushed for SNAP changes sought as part of the negotiations aimed at ensuring recipients were using benefits to buy “nutritional” foods, while also limiting access to items to foods like soda and candy. The party also pushed for tougher work requirements to the program last year as part of a partisan debt limit bill.

Democrats railed against the budget resolution for much of the hearing, offering a series of amendments aimed at protecting Social Security and Medicare while rejecting GOP-backed cuts to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) funding that Democrats and budget hawks say could add to futures deficits.

“This budget is a road map to making life worse, not better, for middle class families. We need a vision that looks to the future, not the past,” Rep. Brendan Boyle (Pa.), the top Democrat on the Budget Committee, said on Thursday. “And thankfully, we will get to hear that vision when President Biden addresses the nation tonight.”

Nathaniel Weixel contributed.

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