By October 6, 2017 Read More →

West Virginia, Ohio reps largely back budget bill, tax reforms

By JESS MANCINI

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A 2018 budget resolution that sets up tax reforms for the president was adopted Thursday in the House of Representatives with two of the three Republicans from West Virginia voting in favor.

The Building a Better America budget resolution (H. Con. Res. 71) passed by a vote of 219-206 along party lines. Republicans Alex Mooney and Evan Jenkins from West Virginia voted yes and David McKinley voted no. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, also voted yes.

McKinley was among the 18 Republicans who voted against it.

“We need a budget that balances within 10 years, promotes economic growth, funds critical research and development programs, strengthens our military and ensures we deliver on the promises made to our seniors and retirees,” McKinley said. “This budget in its current form falls short. This is a process and I look forward to working with the leadership in both the House and the Senate to produce a bipartisan budget that delivers on these goals.”

Mooney said he voted for the Building a Better America Budget “because it represents the fiscally conservative principles that I promised my constituents I would represent.” Mooney represents District 2.

The resolution lays the groundwork for President Trump’s tax reform plan, balances the federal budget over 10 years and trims $6.5 billion in government spending, Mooney said.

“Our country cannot tax itself out of $20 trillion in debt. We have to make tough decisions and reduce the size of the federal government,” he said. “This budget also provides a much needed $72.4 million increase in funding for our military to rebuild our national defense.”

Johnson said the Building a Better America budget balances the budget by 2027, promotes economic growth, ensures a strong national defense, improves the sustainability of Medicare and Social Security and reforms federal programs by improving accountability.

“Today’s budget resolution puts America on both a realistic and sustainable fiscal path, while laying out the path forward for tax reform that will give thousands of families in Eastern and Southeastern Ohio more opportunities to achieve the American Dream and a higher quality of life,” Johnson said.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, in a release, said Mooney voted to pass a budget that would cut Medicare and Medicaid to finance massive cuts for millionaires, billionaires and big corporations and “keep alive Speaker (Paul) Ryan’s wildly unpopular plan to turn Medicare into a voucher and the even more unpopular Republican Repeal and Ripoff health care plan.”

The House action also cuts billions of dollars from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, which helps 74,000 West Virginians stay out of poverty, the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy said. It cuts a program that helps working families put food on the table so there could be massive tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, the center said.

“S.N.A.P. is one of the most cost-effective tools we have in the fight against hunger and poverty,” said Seth DiStefano, campaign coordinator for the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy Campaign.

The Senate also is working on its version of a budget. The Senate Budget Committee could finish on Thursday on a resolution.

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