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House Approves Ryan Budget Plan

March 30, 2012—The House of Representatives March 29 approved, 228-191, an FY 2013 budget resolution after rejecting six alternative plans, including one based on the 2010 National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.  The $3.5 trillion plan (H.Con.Res. 112) would overhaul the Medicare and Medicaid programs [see Washington Highlights, March 23], establish enforceable spending limits, and outline spending priorities and targets.

The budget, drafted by House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), caps FY 2013 discretionary (appropriated) spending at $1.028 trillion, which is $19 billion below the $1.047 trillion cap established by the Budget Control Act (P.L. 112-25). This sets up a conflict with the Senate Democratic leadership, which does not plan to consider a budget resolution in the Senate and will defer to the Budget Control Act’s spending cap for its FY 2012 appropriations bills.

The Ryan budget also instructs six authorizing committees to identify a total of $261 billion in cuts to mandatory programs.  These cuts, plus the reductions is discretionary spending, would be used to avert $98 billion in automatic cuts to discretionary programs set to occur in January 2013.

The House rejected, 382-38, a bipartisan amendment introduced by Reps. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) and Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio) that was based on the 2012 debt commission chaired by former Senator Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) and Erskine Bowles, chief of staff under President Bill Clinton.  The amendment proposed reducing the deficit by more than $4 trillion over 120 years, with two-thirds of the savings from reduced spending and one-third from increased revenues resulting from revision of the tax code.

The House also defeated five other alternative budgets:

  • A Democratic alternative offered by House Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), 262-163;
  • A Republican Study Committee budget that would have reduced the discretionary spending cap in FY 2013 to $931 billion (slightly below the FY 2008 levels), 285-136;
  • A Congressional Progressive Caucus budget offered by Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), 346-78;
  • A budget offered by the Congressional Black Caucus, 314-107; and
  • A budget based on President Obama’s budget request, as analyzed by the Congressional Budget Office, offered by Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), 414-0.


Dave Moore
Senior Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-828-0559


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
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Telephone: 202-903-0806