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GOP Lawmaker: Republicans 'Don't Know How To Govern'

| by Jordan Smith
Paul RyanPaul Ryan

A Republican member of the House has criticized his party over its failure to pass a budget bill for 2018.

Under normal procedure, the House passes a budget bill by April, but the process is still ongoing, the Washington Post reported.

Rep. Steve Womack, a member of the House Budgetary Committee, said the issue "should have been put to bed a long time ago."

Divisions persist among conservative Republicans, who want to see up to $300 billion cut from government spending over the next decade, and moderates, who are prepared to make around $200 billion in savings.

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"It's almost like we're serving in the minority right now," Womack said to the Post. "We just simply don't know how to govern."

Mark Meadows, chairman of the Freedom Caucus, insisted that cuts must include the food stamps program and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

"To suggest that there's no waste or inefficiency in those areas would defy history," Meadows added.

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Democrats have seized on the issue to point out the Republicans' delay.

"Almost five months into the Trump administration, House Republicans still haven't met their most basic responsibility to pass a budget," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.

Womack's criticism of the progress of the budget in the House came the same day as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was forced to announce that the Senate would not vote on the Republican health care bill prior to the July 4 recess.

McConnell remained optimistic.

"We've got a really good chance of getting there, it will just take a little bit longer," he said, according to The Associated Press.

Disagreements between moderates and conservatives were also responsible for the Senate delay. While moderates pointed to the Congressional Budget Office's estimate that 22 million people would lose health care coverage under the new law, conservatives argue that it fails to go far enough in overturning the existing Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

In one example given by the CBO, a 64-year-old earning $26,500 in 2026 would pay $6,500 in premiums, compared to $1,700 under Obamacare. Part of the reason for the difference is that the Senate bill would allow insurers to hike premiums for older adults.

Three senators announced they would not support a motion to start debate on the bill following the CBO announcement.

"It's hard for me to see how the president and his team are going to come up with a bill that can gather enough Republican support, given the objections from senators who are more conservative and those of us who are more moderate," Republican Sen. Susan Collins said.

Sources: Washington Post, The Associated Press via CBC / Photo credit: U.S. Congress/Wikimedia Commons, Shealah Craighead/Wikimedia Commons, Office of U.S. Senator Susan Collins/Wikimedia Commons

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