“‘In our view, we shouldn’t be taking more from hardworking Americans to fix Washington’s mistakes,’ Rep. Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget committee, said on Capitol Hill Monday. ‘Instead, we should be solving the problem with structural reforms to our entitlement programs to make them strong and sustainable.’
The vast majority of Democrats agree with most Republicans that Congress must avoid the devastating effects of the sequestration, but assert that the GOP goes about it the wrong way, prioritizing defense spending and protecting tax cuts for the wealthy, while undercutting the country’s social safety net and other programs intended to build the middle class.
It’s the same ideological disagreement that has characterized the divided 112th Congress. After Republicans released their recommendations last week, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the ranking Democrat on the House Budget committee, said the plan ‘makes the wrong choices for America’ and Democrats will work this week to ‘draw a strong contrast between the lopsided Republican plan to protect tax breaks for powerful special interests at the expense of the rest of America.’ Van Hollen, D-Md., added that the Democratic plan “takes a balanced approach to deficit reduction with shared responsibility and shared prosperity.” — John Parkinson of ABC News