By a vote of 228 to 200, the House approved the conference report on budget legislation (HR 5835) aimed at slowing deficit growth by about $490 billion over five years. Democrats voted 181 for and 74 against, and Republicans 47 for and 126 against. Supporters said the measure would improve but not cure America's deficit problem. For example, red ink this fiscal year is projected to top $200 billion even after the bill trims it by $40 billion.
The revenue side of HR 5835 is estimated at about $189 billion. Upper-income taxpayers will supply most of the tax yield as a result of curbs on their deductions and personal exemptions. Most other Americans will be touched by higher taxes on gasoline, alcoholic beverages, cigarettes and airline tickets, an expansion of the wage base for Medicare payroll taxes and other revenue measures.
A defense slowdown of about $185 billion over five years is the bill's major spending restraint. Medicare curbs are estimated at $44 billion, about $10 billion of which will hit beneficiaries. Spending growth is curbed by $12 billion for farm subsidies, $7.6 billion for civil servant retirement benefits and $3.7 billion for veterans benefits, among other restraints.
A yes vote was to join the bipartisan leadership and President Bush in support of the deficit-reduction bill. How They Voted
Rep. Moorhead (R): Nay Rep. Roybal (D): Nay Rep. Waxman (D): Yea