House of Representatives Votes on H.R. 2560
Last night the House of Representatives voted on and passed H.R. 2560, the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011. This bill would cut current spending levels for total government expenditures, cap future expenditures at a set percentage of GDP ( 19.9 percent by fiscal year 2021), and mandate a “Balanced Budget Amendment” to the Constitution. The vote was largely along party lines, though 9 Republicans voted against the measure and 5 Democrats voted in favor of the bill.
The Senate is scheduled to take up this measure over the next several days with a vote on the bill by the end of the week. The Senate, however, is unlikely to pass the legislation and President Obama has promised to veto the bill if it is presented to him.
As this bill is unlikely to become law, a final solution will still be needed. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stated that that the "Gang of Six" compromise is not intended to be a solution for the looming debt ceiling issue, rather a long-term solution to large budget deficits and debt. Leader Reid indicated that sections of the compromise would likely be included in the McConnell-Reid proposal; however the deal is unlikely to include the entire compromise. The full “Gang of Six” deficit reduction plan might be taken up at a later time as a blueprint for spending over the next several years, past the crisis of raising the debt ceiling.
Because we don’t know the details of the rural health care cuts included in all of these proposals, it is critical that we keep our message to Capitol Hill strong. To find out how to contact your member of Congress, visit NHRA’s homepage by clicking here. NRHA will also continue to update this blog, our Facebook page, and our Twitter feed as additional information becomes available. If you have any questions about this information, please contact Maggie Elehwany or David Lee of NRHA Government Affairs at (202) 639-0550.