A stop-gap measure will keep the federal government running this fiscal year. Now, talk turns to the next fiscal year.
Congress has approved a continuing resolution that funds the federal government through the end of September. By approving the measure, Congress avoids a government shutdown.
Sen. Mike Johanns, a Republican, says Democrats have unveiled a budget for Fiscal Year 2014, which begins October 1st. It proposes to raise approximately $1.5 trillion in taxes, yet fails to reach balance.
Still, Johanns sees it passing.
“I think they’ll pass it just because they can pass it on a majority vote and they have 55 members in the Senate and so, at the end of the day, they’ll break arms until they get it passed,” Johanns tells Drive Time Lincoln on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray of Washington stated the blueprint she will carry splits taxes and cuts evenly: $975 billion in spending, $975 billion in tax revenue raised by closing loopholes. The plan expands Medicaid to cover more low-income Americans.
Republicans, who control the House, outline a different approach.
The budget submitted by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin cuts spending by $4.6 trillion over the next 10 years. It proposes cuts to both Medicare and Medicaid and the repeal of the federal healthcare overhaul. It purports to balance the federal budget in 10 years.
Johanns says he would vote for the Ryan plan.
Johanns has been critical of President Obama for not engaging directly with members of Congress on fiscal matters. That has changed. Johanns was among Republican senators who recently had dinner with Obama to discuss the budget. Obama has visited with House Republicans. Johanns sees that as positive.
“We got to do the right things to get this spending under control, but there have been a few positive steps and I’m guessing he’s feeling the pressure,” says Johanns.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:35]