WASHINGTON — This one was never really in doubt.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted down a budget plan offered by the Congressional Progressive Caucus on Thursday. Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison is a co-chair of the caucus.
The CPC pitched its budget as an alternative to the one offered by House Republicans, containing a litany of proposals that conservatives found, at best, unacceptable. Whereas the Republicans cut spending to reduce federal deficits and flatten and simplify the tax code to spur job creation, the Progressive Caucus budget includes $2.9 trillion in spending meant to create jobs — through federal infrastructure spending and tax incentives supported by President Obama, among other things — and it raises taxes on high earners and cuts defense spending to reduce the deficit.
The CPC says its budget would create 3.3 million jobs and reduce the deficit by $6.8 trillion. It failed on a 78-346 vote.
“We’re dealing with unemployment, and this budget is no decent budget at all unless it deals with jobs,” Ellison said during debate on the bill Wednesday night. “Now, the Budget for All, which is the Progressive Caucus budget, is all about jobs. We make investments in people developing our workforce, developing education and putting Americans back to work.”
Rep. Tom McClintock, the Republican charged with leading debate on the plan, actually commended the Progressive Caucus for working to reduce the deficit, but quickly pushed back against the bill’s higher taxes.
“No nation has ever taxed and spent its way to prosperity, but many nations have taxed and spent their way to economic ruin and bankruptcy,” he said.
In the end, every Republican agreed with him and voted against the bill. Most Democrats joined them, too: only 78 of the 180 House Democrats ended up voting for the budget.
Devin Henry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @dhenry