published Thursday, March 29th, 2012

House approves Republican deficit-cutting plan

  • photo
    House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio takes questions during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 29, 2012.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

WASHINGTON - Republicans have pushed an election-year $3.5 trillion budget through a divided House that showcases their plans for trimming federal deficits and contrasts sharply with how President Barack Obama and Democrats would tackle the nation's fiscal problems.

The GOP package would revamp Medicare, slice everything from food stamps to transportation and reject Obama's call for higher taxes on the rich. It envisions collapsing the six different income tax rates into just two, with a top rate of 25 percent compared with today's 35 percent. It would also eliminate unspecified tax breaks.

The House approved the measure today by a near party-line 228-191 vote.

Obama and Democrats prefer raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans and on oil companies, boosting funds for roads and schools and culling modest savings from domestic programs.

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