Ryan Budget Gets Two Republican ‘No’ Votes

By Matt Cover | March 21, 2012 | 1:28 PM EDT

House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R.-Wis. (AP photo)

(Update: The House Budget Committee approved Chairman Paul Ryan's 2013 budget resolution 19-18 Wednesday night, after this report was posted. Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., joined Rep. Tim Huelskamp in voting against the Ryan plan. And Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., told The Hill newspaper that he may vote against it on the House floor, although he voted for it in committee.)

(CNSNews.com) Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) said that he will not vote for the budget of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) because it was “not good enough.”

“It’s not good enough,” Huelskamp said at the Conversation with Conservatives conference in Washington on Tuesday. “I’m voting no for a couple of reasons. Number one is what we just mentioned, the failure to follow through on the Pledge to America and also the failure to follow through – the law says the number is $950 [billion so] this also reneges on the sequester and those numbers get lost out there.”

Huelskamp is citing the effect of the budget sequester on domestic spending in 2013. If the sequester goes into effect as intended in the Budget Control Act passed last summer, domestic discretionary spending would be automatically cut to $950 billion.

Ryan’s budget – citing the need to protect defense spending – instead instructs the Appropriations committee to find additional savings for 2013, thus avoiding the automatic cuts made by the sequester.

Huelskamp also said Ryan’s budget “missed” an opportunity to tackle tax reform. The budget does propose a two-tiered system with rates set at 10 and 25 percent, but does not go into specifics about who would pay each rate. It also proposes tax reform, but again does not give any specifics about which deductions and exemptions would be eliminated.

Huelskamp – a member of the Budget Committee – said this puts conservatives at a major disadvantage as they prepare to fight President Obama on taxes – particularly with the largest tax hike in American history looming in 2013.

“What we lose is the talk about taxes and the massive tax increase at the end of the year of $5 trillion. As a conservative I don’t want to be put in the position – like we were on the payroll tax – of not having a plan to deal with what’s coming,” he said.

“We have two paragraphs in the budget or three paragraphs that basically say hey, we’re going to do tax reform. The budget doesn’t do tax reform. It will do reconciliation for savings. It will do that, but I have proposed we do some reconciliation for mandatory – pass something across the board – to say what is the Republican position, what is the conservative position compared to a guy who wants to raise taxes, and I think we missed that opportunity,” Huelskamp explained.