The Latest: GOP blocks Dems on cuts in budget plan
Oct. 18, 2017
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Republican budget plan in the Senate (all times local):
Senate Republicans have blocked Democrats from striking proposed cuts to Medicare and Medicaid from the GOP's budget plan.
The proposed cuts are contained in a non-binding budget blueprint whose passage later this week is a critical step for a Republican drive later this year to cut taxes for businesses and individuals.
The cuts — almost $500 billion over 10 years from Medicare and more than $1 trillion from the Medicaid health program for the poor — remain in the budget after party-line votes, though Republicans don't plan to actually try to pass them later on.
Democrats charge that the Republican budget plan provides for tax cuts slanted unfairly in favor of wealthy people and corporations while cutting health care services for the elderly and the poor.
Senate Democrats are targeting Republicans on taxes and health care cuts, seeking to inflict political pain as the Senate moves ahead on a $4 trillion budget blueprint that's a crucial step in the GOP's drive to rewrite the tax code.
Democrats are offering amendments to strike provisions from the GOP budget that promise to cut Medicare by almost $500 billion over the coming decade and slash the Medicaid health program for the poor by twice as much.
Another amendment would try to block Republican plans to add the 10-year, $1.5 trillion tax cut to the nation's $20 trillion debt.
Republicans controlling the Senate, on track to pass the budget measure later this week, are likely to reject the Democratic moves.