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Tea party insurgency could unravel Paul Ryan Republican budget plan

Conservatives in Congress, led by three tea party senators, are balking at Rep. Paul Ryan's Republican House budget, saying it doesn't balance the budget quickly enough. 

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Second, the budget threatens to undo long-term spending caps agreed to as part of last summer’s debt fight. Conservatives grudgingly moved off their insistence of no hikes in the nation’s debt ceiling in exchange for strict caps on future spending. They smell betrayal in anything that would go back on that agreement.  

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“This budget is asking Americans to trust future Congresses to do the hard work later. It is hard to have confidence that our long-term fiscal challenges will be met responsibly when the same Congress that passed the Budget Control Act wants to ignore it less than one year later,” Mr. Chocola said in a statement.

“The Club for Growth urges Republicans to support a budget that balances in the near future and complies with the Budget Control Act,” he added.

To get a sense of what a budget palatable to the GOP’s most conservative members would look like, one need only look to another budget proposal unveiled by three Senate conservatives this month.

The plan put together by Republican Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Jim DeMint of South Carolina, and Mike Lee of Utah slashes spending by more than $5 trillion below Ryan’s budget and $11 trillion below President Obama’s budget. It replaces Medicare entirely, offering in its place the same health plan offered to members of Congress and the federal workforce. It wipes out the entire tax code in favor of a flat 17 percent tax rate for individuals and corporations.

And, most importantly, it balances the budget within five years.

In a recent Politico opinion article, five Republican senators – the authors of the Senate budget proposal plus Marco Rubio of Florida and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin – wrote that “balancing the budget within 10 years seems a minimal threshold of fiscal seriousness.... We no longer have 30 or 40 years to solve this problem.” 

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