U.S. Senate offers up its own budget proposal - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

U.S. Senate offers up its own budget proposal

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Eau Claire (WQOW) – Democrats in the U.S. Senate are out with their own budget plan. 

The Senate proposal comes one day after Republicans members of the House introduced their proposal.  Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, says the plan has four key goals: continuing the economic recovery by growing jobs, keeping promises made through entitlement programs, reducing America's debt and deficit and returning order to the fiscal process.   

The proposal also includes measures that would close some tax loopholes for America's wealthiest. 

"Often we don't talk about it this way, but we have spending in spending in the nation's discretionary budget, but we have spending that's embedded in the tax code, in the form of these loopholes that are often times available to the wealthy and powerful only," says Sen. Baldwin, a Democrat.  "We review the discretionary budget on an annual basis, but rarely do we get into the task of reviewing the spending in our tax code.  Our budget does that and we intend to make some significant cuts." 

The House plan cuts $4.6 trillion over ten years, which Rep. Paul Ryan says will balance the country's budget.  His proposal replaces Medicare with a voucher program and looks to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Despite the differences in the proposals, Sen. Baldwin says she is hopeful for a compromise. 

"I think the American people know we need to take a balanced approach.  Paul Ryan's budget basically eliminates Medicare and replaces it with a voucher program, it tries again, I think for political reasons, to repeal the Affordable Care Act," says Sen. Baldwin.  "These are non-starters, but once we start having a serious conversation, the American people understand that we all need to pitch in." 

Following the Senate proposal, Wisconsin's other U.S. Senator, Republican Ron Johnson, released this statement: 

"Republicans and Democrats share the same goals. We are concerned about building a better America – a prosperous nation where people can build better lives for themselves and their families. But while we have the same goals, we have different views on how to accomplish them. Democrats want to grow government, while Republicans see the need to grow the private sector. We want to create jobs so more Americans experience the dignity of getting a check from an employer, instead of from the government.

"Washington has a spending problem. We have to pass along something better to our children and grandchildren than tens of trillions of dollars in debt. That is immoral. Yet if we do not change course, that's precisely where we are headed."

"We can achieve our shared goals if we are willing to work together. The President has taken a welcome first step, in reaching out to the other side of the aisle. Now we need to invest the time to build trust and relationships, and to figure out what we agree on. If we start from that common ground, we can save Social Security and Medicare for future generations."

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