House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) speaks at Lawrence… (Steven Senne / Associated…)
WASHINGTON — GOP leaders are advancing the House Republican budget and its proposed changes to Medicare despite opposition in the Democratic-led Senate by using used a relatively obscure procedural move -- tucking it alongside an unrelated bill that would allow the importation of trophy polar bears.
In considering the sportsmen’s hunting legislation, the House approved a provision Tuesday that essentially “deems” the budget from Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) passed, even though the blueprint with its tax breaks and cuts to domestic programs was dead on arrival in the Senate.
Republicans said the procedural move was needed to set in motion a 2013 fiscal plan in the absence of an action or agreement with the other chamber. The House voted, 228-184, with no Democrats joining most Republicans, to deem it passed.
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney backs the GOP blueprint, but Democrats have attacked it on the campaign trail, saying it would end the Medicare guarantee for future seniors and slash domestic spending, while giving tax cuts. The budget would give future seniors a set amount to buy health insurance.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), whose party had once considered such a “deem passed” maneuver during the 2010 debate over the nation’s new healthcare law, called Tuesday’s vote a “stunt.”
The procedure was tucked into legislation setting the rules for debate on a sports hunting bill, an unrelated measure that would open more public lands to hunters and sportsmen and amend an existing law to allow those who had killed polar bears in Canada before they became listed as endangered species to bring the trophies into the U.S.
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Original source: Republicans approve Paul Ryan's budget (again) in the House