Federal Lawmakers Debate 2012 Budget


Federal lawmakers tackled a double-debate over the budget, first arguing over spending for the rest of this year. Now they’re debating the differences between two possible spending plans for next year.

Lawmakers in the House took to the floor, arguing over how the government should spend its money.

"It’s like driving your car down the highway and throwing your car in reverse,” said Rep. John Boehner, R-House Speaker. “Instead of spending more and more and more, guess what, we're actually going to spend less."

"This bill is nothing more than a tea party checklist of targeting programs that help the most vulnerable," said Rep. Barbara Lee, D-California.

They're gearing up for a big fight over next year's budget, but first both the House and the Senate had to pass the plan they agreed on for this year.

Now, lawmakers are turning their attention to a vote set for Friday. It's on the Republican spending plan for next year.

The GOP budget slashes spending, overhauls Medicare and Medicaid and gives tax breaks to corporations and people in upper-income brackets.

President Obama and his fellow Democrats hope to push that plan aside with their own proposal, which increases taxes on people earning over $250,000 a year.

"It's not appropriate for us to ask for sacrifices from everybody except for the 2 percent of Americans who are doing best," the President said.

But the Republican who put his party's budget together says politics are getting in the way of progress.

“I was expecting the president to give a substantive, principled, legitimate critique of our ideas, and then to propose his own ideas,” said Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin. “We didn’t get that. We got a partisan broadside.”

Both parties agree, it's time to cut spending, but the deep differences in how they want that to happen will lead to lots more debate in the days ahead.

Some republicans voted against the spending plan for the rest of this year, saying the cuts weren't deep enough.

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