Obama gives lawmakers a budget plateful
GOP says the White House plan means more taxes on all Americans
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“Global warming is one of my key priorities,” Waxman said February 26.Skip to next paragraph
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Health care legislation would likely follow the energy bill. The White House as yet has no health reform point person, following former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle’s withdrawal of his nomination to be Secretary of Health and Human Services. In addition, one of the Democratic Party’s leading voices on health care, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D) of Massachusetts, has dealt with his own serious health challenges this spring.
On the budget itself, House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D) of California has said her chamber will vote on a non-binding budget resolution next month -- the first step in the arduous traditional appropriations process.
“Our work is well cut out for us,” said Speaker Pelosi.
Republicans on the attack
Meanwhile, Republicans have begun developing lines of attack on Obama’s budget and the issues it raises.
Among these will be an attempt to frame the proposed climate change provisions as a tax -- a levy that will touch almost everything Americans do.
Obama’s budget “relies on tax increases on small businesses, family farms, middle-class families, retirees, charities, every American with a 401(k), and yes, any American who dares flip on a light switch at home,” said Rep. Boehner.
A cap-and-trade system would require industries in some manner to purchase permits allowing them to emit greenhouse gases.
Presumably, these costs would be passed along to customers in the form of higher prices.
These higher prices are what opponents of the system describe as a tax.
“The cap-and-trade system will have some effects on households,,” said OMB director Peter Orszag at his press briefing. “That’s one reason why we are linking the cap-and-trade program ... to a tax credit for working families that would provide relief in their budgets over time.”
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.