This procedural vote would have advanced a budget resolution offered by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to balance the budget without tax increases by restoring caps on federal spending and implementing the “Penny Plan.” Paul’s proposal also would have expanded Health Savings Accounts to help Americans pay for their health care costs.
In February 2018, Congress voted to increase spending caps by $300 billion, opening a pathway for trillions of dollars more in spending over the next ten years. The “Penny Plan” would require the federal government to restore the caps and then spend one penny less for every on-budget dollar the federal government spent in fiscal year 2018 for the next five years.
Thereafter, spending would grow by one percent annually. This plan would reduce spending by $13.35 trillion over the next ten years and would balance the budget without making changes to Social Security.
Paul’s budget makes no specific policy assumptions, leaving it to Congress to decide how to achieve the spending levels called for in this balanced budget plan. He has called this vote a “litmus test for conservatives,” and he’s right. It will be very difficult for any Republican who voted against this budget resolution to claim he or she is a fiscal conservative, given how budget resolutions are largely symbolic statements of principle.
The U.S. Senate rejected a motion to proceed to a vote on Paul’s budget on May 17, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. ET in a roll call vote of 21 – 76.
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Conservative position: YES
Cortez Masto (D-NV)
Van Hollen (D-MD)