This year’s budget process is very important because it is the first step in developing legislation that can be very harmful to people with disabilities. House and Senate Budgets set overall spending and revenue targets for the next 10 years. The real purpose of this year’s budgets is to set the stage for a massive tax cut bill by the end of the year.
The House recently passed its Budget; the Senate will be voting on its version this week. The Senate Budget allows for up to $1.5 trillion to be added to the deficit. If resulting tax cut legislation exceeds this amount, then any amount over that could come from cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and many other programs that are critical for people with disabilities. The Senate Budget assumes some $5 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years, as well as optimistic projections of economic growth, to make up for lost tax revenue. Learn more here.
While the tax cut legislation that would result from both chambers passing a joint Budget is still unknown, the tax plan framework released last monthindicates that its benefits are heavily tilted towards wealthy individuals and corporations. If the House and Senate are able to pass a joint budget, it would allow for legislation that is easy to pass since it only needs a simple majority (51) in the Senate (using reconciliation).