Second District Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito says she will support the budget proposal from Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan when it comes up for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives this week.
“I don’t think it’s perfect. Some of the areas are concerning to me in terms of where some of the cuts might be,” Congresswoman Capito said of the Republican plan.
“But, I think, we’ve got to put ourselves on a pathway to a balanced budget, which this does.”
Congressman Ryan, the Chairman of the U.S. House Budget Committee, has proposed $4.6 trillion in federal cuts over the next decade. His plan would balance the budget in that time by making reductions to Medicare, Medicaid and other aid to the poor, including food benefits.
The Ryan proposal would also repeal the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law, and create two tax brackets for individuals, 10% and 25%.
If implemented, analysts say the House GOP plan would take government spending to its lowest levels in 65 years.
Congresswoman Capito says she thinks Medicare coverage is important, but also says it’s clear reforms are needed.
“If we don’t make systemic changes here, my children and grandchildren are not going to have that kind of security in Medicare that my parents have today and that’s important to me,” Congresswoman Capito said.
The U.S. Senate, which the Democrats control, will take up an alternative budget plan this week.
The Senate proposal focuses on closing tax loopholes to generate almost $1 trillion in new tax revenues while putting more money into roads, bridges and other infrastructure. It offers up modest spending cuts while leaving programs like Medicare and Medicaid largely unchanged.
The U.S. Senate has not approved a budget in four years.
Congresswoman Capito says, at the very least, the opposing proposals give leaders on Capitol Hill two starting points for budget discussions.
“These conversations have to occur or we’re never going to get ahold of this over $16 trillion debt,” she said.