House GOP to Addess Entitlement Reform in Budget
Policy + Politics

House GOP to Addess Entitlement Reform in Budget

House Republican leaders announced Tuesday that their federal budget for the 2012 fiscal year will include an effort to reform entitlement programs including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

The move came a day after two top Republicans had informally suggested that entitlement reform would be a part of their party's budget proposal, which is expected to come in April.

In their statement, House Speaker John Boehner (Ohio), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (Texas) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.) charged that the budget proposed by President Obama on Monday "punts on entitlement reform and actually makes matters worse by spending too much, taxing too much, and borrowing too much -- stifling job growth today and threatening our economic future.

"The President says that he wants to win the future, but we can't win the future by repeating the mistakes of the past or putting off our responsibilities in the present," the Republican leaders said in their statement. "Our budget will lead where the President has failed, and it will include real entitlement reforms so that we can have a conversation with the American people about the challenges we face and the need to chart a new path to prosperity."

Members of both political parties as well as the White House have acknowledged the need to reform federal entitlement programs, which regularly make up one of the largest chunks of federal spending. But efforts to restructure such programs can prove politically perilous as voters, especially seniors, worry that their federal benefits may be put at risk. Earlier Tuesday, House Democratic leaders reiterated Obama's statement that there must be a "bipartisan solution" to the issue but declined to offer any specifics on a timeline.

Read more at The Washington Post.