Led by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, House Republicans released a budget proposal Tuesday that they say reduces government spending, shrinks the national debt, and puts America back on the path to prosperity.
“We can either choose the red line, which is the sea of debt and deficits -- the line the president's proposing we go on, the line our country is on,” Ryan said. “Or we can choose that green line where we face up to the challenges that are confronting this generation now to give our country a better future.”
The GOP plan, called "The Path to Prosperity," is a long-term budget plan intended to cut spending by $6.2 trillion and the deficit by $4.4 trillion over the next 10 years.
The proposal offers about six times the amount of savings over President Obama's 2012 budget.
“This budget right here will move us from an era of debt and doubt and despair into a stable and secure future, while being honest with the American people,” Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., said.
In order to accomplish that goal, the plan targets Medicare, defense spending, and the federal deficit.
The budget takes on entitlement spending that eats up so much of the federal budget, ending the practice of what Republicans call Washington’s "one size fits all" approach to the social safety net.
It also gives states more control over spending on food stamps, housing assistance, and Medicaid.
“We convert all federal spending into block grants - into allotments to each of the respective states,” Rep Todd Young, R-Ind., explained. “We give governors, in conjunction with their state legislatures, the flexibility to tailor Medicaid to the needs and desires of their own citizens.”
Democrats say the Republican plan takes the country in the wrong direction -- offering too many tax breaks to businesses and wealthy Americans.
If the debate over the current budget is any indication, talks over next year's spending plan are sure to be long and contentious.