Hill Leaders' Budget Dispute Is A Preview To Fall Elections

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Congressional Recess Offers Preview Of Fall Election Fight Over Republican-Backed Budget
Democrats and Republicans in Congress can't agree on a budget, but there's no disagreement about using (Rep. Paul) Ryan’s to highlight an election-year divide. ... The debate underscores the broader dispute between the two parties about the role and size of government. From town halls to job fairs to meet-and-greets with voters during Congress’ two-week recess, Democrats and Republicans focused on the budget in a preview of the seven-month campaign to November. ... The House plan would make deep cuts to government programs. ... The most politically dicey element is the change in Medicare, the $500 billion-a-year health insurance program for older people (4/14).

The New York Times: House Republicans To Tackle Ambitious Budget
House Republicans return from spring recess next week to face the difficult — some say impossible — task of filling the gaping holes in the House-passed budget, including figuring out how to slash income tax rates without costing the government any money and finding nearly $3 trillion in savings from entitlement programs over the next decade. ... The budget describes significant changes to Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps. Medicare would be transformed from a government-run insurance program to a menu of private insurance plans subsidized by the government. Medicaid and food stamps would be converted to block grants to the states, which would be allowed to impose work requirements and time limits (Weisman, 4/13).

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