Senate passes $4 trillion budget blueprint

WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate passes $4 trillion budget blueprint:

The Senate has passed a $4 trillion budget blueprint that is a major step forward for President Donald Trump’s ambitious promises for “massive tax cuts and reform.”

The 51-49 vote sets the stage for debate later this year to dramatically overhaul the U.S. tax code, cutting rates for individuals and corporations while clearing away trillions of dollars’ worth of deductions and special-interest tax breaks.

The tax cuts would add up to $1.5 trillion to the deficit over the coming decade, however, as Republicans shelve worries about the growing budget deficit in favor of a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rewrite tax laws.

When reconciled with the House budget plan, the nonbinding measure would set up special procedures to pass follow-up tax legislation without the threat of a filibuster by Senate Democrats.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) released the below statement following Senate passage of the FY2018 budget resolution. The resolution passed by a 51-49 vote.

“Tonight, the Senate passed a reasonable budget resolution, an essential step towards comprehensive tax reform that will grow our nation’s economy, create jobs and put more money in the pockets of middle-class families. Failure to pass this budget resolution would have doomed our efforts to work with President Trump to deliver tax reform for the American people.

“A vote against the resolution is a vote to stop pro-growth tax reform in its tracks, and continue the economic stagnation that became the new normal during the Obama administration. I am also glad the Senate voted to adopt my amendment to make sure hard-working middle-class Americans are a top priority as we begin our work on tax reform.

“Once the Senate and House budget resolutions are reconciled, we will have an opportunity to deliver responsible tax reform legislation that will lead to more jobs and higher wages in West Virginia and across the country. There is still much work to be done to make tax reform a reality for American families and small businesses, but I am very happy to support this step forward, rather than cut off the path to economic prosperity.”

Yesterday, Senator Capito spoke on the Senate floor to encourage her colleagues to pass the budget resolution, paving the way for a tax overhaul and creating a path to greater prosperity.

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) today released the following statement after voting against the budget resolution that passed the Senate. The budget passed 51-49.

“Today I voted against a budget proposal that would cut $472 billion cut from Medicare and would increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion. I’m embarrassed that this body voted to saddle our children with more debt while slashing funding for a program that is crucially important to West Virginia’s seniors. This budget also paves the way for Senate Republicans to pass tax reform without any bipartisan input with a simple 51-vote majority. In my conversations with President Trump we have discussed our shared goal of ensuring any tax reform package passes with both Republican and Democratic votes and focuses on providing tax relief for working Americans. The current tax reform proposal is the work of Senator McConnell and does not reflect my conversations with the President. I fear that passage of this budget today will make it difficult to pass bipartisan tax reform in the coming weeks. I urge my Republicans colleagues to listen to the President and work with me to pass long-term bipartisan tax reform. In spite of this flawed budget, I remain committed to doing everything in my power to simplify the tax code and give tax cuts to all working people and families in West Virginia.”

Below is a list of effects on West Virginia:

· The budget contains $5 trillion of unspecified cuts that could devastate programs essential to West Virginians. Under the proposed 2018 Republican budget, West Virginians could see a reduction in services:

o $472.9 billion cut to Medicare over the next 10 years that would jeopardize the more than 425,000 West Virginia seniors who rely on Medicare.

o West Virginia received $28,872,302 in funding for heating assistance programs in 2016 compared to $43,362,931 in 2010. From FY 2010 to FY2015, West Virginia experienced 33% reduction in LIHEAP receipts, and it is estimated that 64% of eligible households in the state are not served due to funding decreases.

o In 2015, West Virginia received $41,327,335 in WIC benefits. Those funds served 4,334 pregnant women, 10,765 infants and 20,945 children with a coverage rate of 72.6% of those eligible.

o West Virginia received $65,259,418 in 2016 for Head Start and Early Head Start. This impact 8,078 children and their families.

· Outside of the cuts to services, important agencies and programs that serve West Virginians would see cuts or be totally eliminated:

o The Appalachian Regional Commission could be completely eliminated. ARC works on development projects like building rail links, expanding airports, and funding local health departments.

o Cuts to the Essential Air Service (EAS) program, would result in cuts to flights at the Beckley, Clarksburg Greenbrier, Morgantown and Parkersburg airports.

· For West Virginia partisan Tax Reform means tax cuts for the top 1%, while failing to assist middle- to low-income families.

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com