Ryan Budget Released: AIDS United Opposes

By jschneidewind on March 23, 2012 in Policy/Advocacy

by Donna Crews, Director of Government Affairs

On Tuesday, March 20 Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) chairman of the House Budget Committee introduced his Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13) budget entitled “The Path to Prosperity – A Blueprint to American Renewal.”  The total spending called for in the proposed budget is $1.028 trillion.  That amount is $19 billion below the bipartisan agreement for FY13 reached last August in the Budget and Control Act (BCA) and $15 billion below the current Fiscal Year 2012 level.

The possible program cuts in the Ryan budget for FY 13 could be:

  • Severe cuts to Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps.
  • Elimination of the Affordable Care Act.
  • Cuts to housing programs to assist those in foreclosure.
  • Changes in the structure of the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

The resolution would also decrease the tax burden for wealthy individuals by lowering the top tax bracket by 10 points from 35% to 25%.  Everyone else’s tax rate would be 10 % thus increasing the tax rate on many low income individuals.  Rep. Ryan’s resolution calls for permanently extending the “Bush era tax cuts” and eliminates the alternative minimum tax rate.

The budget resolution was debated in the Budget Committee on Wednesday, March 21 and adopted on a 19-18 vote.  All 16 Democrats on the committee voted against the proposed budget; they were joined by 2 Republican committee members who thought the total spending amount was too high.  Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) was the only committee member not present for the vote.  The budget debate will now move to the full House for an expected vote next week.  There are indications that the views of the 2 Republicans who voted against the budget in the committee are reflected in the total Republican caucus in the House.  If this dissension holds up, the fate of the Ryan budget in the full House may be a cliff hanger.

AIDS United is firmly opposed to Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget FY 13resolution.  We believe it would l have a devastating impact on people living with or affected by HIV and AIDS.  We must ensure that the Affordable Care Act is implemented so that HIV positive low income individuals with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL) will be able to have access to care and medications through Medicaid prior to an AIDS defining diagnosis.  The only way to tackle the fiscal crisis is to have a balance of revenue growth and cuts in spending.  All of deficit reduction  cannot be borne by the non-defense discretionary portion of the budget.  We believe the debate between the Ryan  budget and President Obama’s FY 13 budget request show the stark differences between  the philosophies of the House Republicans and the Administration.  Rep. Ryan’s budget increases the coffers of the wealthy and President Obama’s budget continues to work to provide affordable healthcare programs for all.

AIDS United will continue to monitor the Ryan Budget as it moves through the legislative process and will keep you updated.  We encourage you to take action with calls to your Representative to urge a “No” vote when the resolution comes to the House floor.

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