Government

Region’s Reps Follow Party Lines on Budget Vote

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The two congressmen who represent the Mahoning Valley split on yesterday’s vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on the proposed 2016 budget.

The Republican-drafted 2016 budget plan was narrowly approved on a 218-208 vote.

The House “passed a budget that does something President Obama’s budget never does – balance” and “stands in stark contrast to the economic policies we’ve been living under since President Obama took office,” said U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-6 Ohio, in a statement.

“Our budget reduces spending by $5.5 trillion, while placing our nation on a path towards paying off our unsustainable national debt, which currently stands above $18 trillion — $56,000 per American. This budget calls for expanding domestic energy production, an issue critical to Eastern and Southeastern Ohio,” he said.

“Additionally, the budget I voted for fully repeals Obamacare – and all of its taxes, regulations, and mandates, boosts defense spending above President Obama’s requested level, and ends the Obamacare raid on Medicare,” Johnson said.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio, countered that the budget won’t help grow the economy, provide high-paying jobs or balance the budget. “This budget makes America less competitive, pushes more burdens on to working families and continues to feed the fires of inequality in our society. With all the challenges our families face today, the Republican budget lacks any vision for how to give them opportunity to pull themselves up the economic ladder,” Ryan said in his statement.

“It is no surprise that this legislation passed without any Democratic support. Like proposals we’ve seen before, it favors the wealthy and most powerful in our country, once again cutting tax rates for millionaires – providing an average tax cut of $200,000, while increasing taxes on hardworking families by $2,000 per year,” Ryan said. “Further, this budget reduces financial aid for 260,000 Ohio students, eliminates health care coverage for 234,000 Ohioans, and ends Medicare as we know it – replacing it with a voucher program. This budget shows just how out of touch Congressional Republicans are with what American families really need in their daily lives.”

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-3 Pa., joined Johnson and other House Republicans in praising the budget.

“I am proud to once again support a responsible plan that balances the federal budget in less than 10 years and reins in our national debt without raising a single penny in new taxes,” Kelly said in his statement. “The plan would also fully repeal Obamacare — including all of the law’s expensive taxes, regulations, and mandates — and implement common sense tax reform to help boost our economy,” he said.

The House budget “stands in incredible contrast to President Obama’s reckless proposal which includes $2.1 trillion in new taxes, $8.5 trillion in more debt, and never balances — ever, all while leaving our nation’s promises to seniors on the road to bankruptcy,” Kelly continued. “Above all, I am relieved that our plan meets its constitutional obligation to fully equip our nation’s defenders with the tools they need to protect our country, defeat our enemies, and remain the world’s most fearsome military at this time of great global havoc.”

SOURCES: Congressional press offices.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.