Allentown Morning Call
As he did the year before, Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey has drafted his own budget plan he’ll unveil Wednesday afternoon in Washington.
While Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he has no intention of bringing a budget to a vote this year, the Democratic-led Senate Budget Committee intends to debate a budget resolution during a budget markup also on Wednesday. Toomey sits on the Budget Committee.
Frustrated with the Senate for not producing its own budget, Toomey, just a few months into his freshman year, held a press conference on May 10, 2011 with a plan to balance the budget in nine years. That move, coupled with his outspokenness during the debt ceiling debate are credited as why Toomey was selected to serve on the so-called “supercommittee.”
In last year’s budget proposal, Toomey called for non-defense discretionary spending to be brought to pre-2008 stimulus levels. He said his plan would lower spending to 18.5 percent of gross domestic product. Currently, it’s around 25 percent. His plan made slight changes to Medicare and shifted Medicaid from an entitlement to a state block-grant program.
A few weeks after he unveiled it, the Senate voted it down along party lines. But of the four competing budget measures voted on that day, including House U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan and President Obama’s budget request, Toomey’s blueprint fared the best with 42 for and 55 against.
Toomey’s version this year is expected to be similar to last year’s proposal and could receive another vote on the floor.