House GOP preps bills for first 100 days if Republicans capture majority
House Republican leaders are preparing several bills to address the party’s top-priority agenda in the first 100 days of the session: Medicaid and tax breaks.
The proposals have a number of goals: To address the Medicaid program’s growing problem of low enrollment, reduce benefits from various tax cuts and increase funding for Social Security and Medicare.
The focus on Medicaid, where the GOP has long vowed to take aim at President Barack Obama and Democrats, follows a string of proposals at the state and local level aimed at eliminating the health-insurance program for the poor.
House Republicans in their first 100 days plan to seek reforms to the Children’s Health Insurance Program and Social Security’s Supplemental Security Income program as part of a larger tax package that would include extending the alternative minimum tax on high earners, sources and a higher standard deduction, sources and a higher tax rate on capital gains.
And House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday floated the possibility of using a revenue bill to increase taxes on income above $1 million.
The 100-day blueprint, which Republicans are preparing for the first time, does not include any provisions to address the looming threat of raising the debt ceiling.
“There’s no question that we will have to deal with the issue when the time comes,” said a House Republican leadership aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity because many of the plans were confidential.
Lawmakers who have spoken with Boehner this week indicated the party leader has no qualms about the debt ceiling, saying his concerns are with the process of debating the debt ceiling.
“The fact of the matter is, we’re going to have to deal with the political fight over the debt ceiling,” the aide said. “But you’ve got to understand: He’s not going to take us down to the edge of the cliff. We’ve got a long way to go in debt. We’ve got to address the long-term debt.”
The House Republicans office declined to elaborate on why the 100-day blueprint won’t address the debt ceiling in the early days of the session.
Rep. Pete King, the Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said lawmakers should be looking at how to pay for the plan in the long term