This was a vote on the budget proposed by the Republican minority, which was offered as a substitute for the Democratic majority-sponsored budget that the House was considering. According to the Republicans, their proposed budget had significantly lower spending levels, taxes, and deficits than the Democratic budget.
Rep. Ryan (R-WI), who was leading the support for the Republican budget, said it is based on the notion that the answers to the country’s economic problems “all don't flow out of Washington. The answers come from individual Americans . . . not Washington bureaucrats, not the idea that we have to take more money and more power away from the people and spend it on their behalf and exercise it on their behalf. Unfortunately, that is the arrogant, paternalistic notion that is being brought to the floor here by the (Democratic) budget . . . .”
Ryan also argued that the Republican budget would implement a plan that will create more jobs than the budget proposed by the Democrats. He claimed that “in the fifth year alone you'd have more than two million more jobs under the Republican alternative than you would under the Democratic proposal . . . (because) they raise taxes on small businesses. They raise taxes on pensions, on the assets that make up our savings. They raise taxes on energy. They raise debt borrowing, which will lead to higher interest rates. “
House Republican Leader Boehner summarized the Republican argument against the Democratic budget when he said that it makes “no tough choices . . . when you just keep spending money, you don't have to make decisions. You just keep spending money. The fact is, if you look at (the Democratic) budget, it spends too much; it taxes too much, and it puts too much debt on the backs of our kids and grandkids. “
Rep. DeLauro (D-CT), speaking in opposition to the proposed Republican budget, said it was “a shortsighted attempt to short-circuit essential investments in our economic recovery and long-term growth. It takes back resources for long overdue investments in education and health care and in energy. A $29 billion cut to income security programs over 10 years, $25 billion of which comes from critical nutrition program increases. The kind of investments that conservative economists tell us have the most powerful stimulative impact, $1.73 in economic growth created for every dollar spent, if only it were allowed to reach families in need . . . This (Republican) budget is the last thing our economy needs now or down the road: the kind of drastic cuts to essential services that will raise costs, which will destroy our ability to compete and to grow. It's a relic of 8 long years of a failed economic policy of the Bush administration.”
Rep. Spratt (D-SC), the chairman of the House Budget Committee added that: “Under the guise of deficit reduction, more tax cuts are provided (in the Republican budget) for the upper brackets.”
The proposed budget was defeated by a vote of 137-243. All 137 “aye” votes were cast by Republicans. Thirty-eight other Republicans joined all two hundred and five Democrats and voted “nay”. As a result, the budget proposed by the Republican minority was not adopted.