The Latest: Senate panel approves budget plan - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

The Latest: Senate panel approves budget plan

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on the House GOP budget plan (all times local):

4:40 p.m.

The Senate Budget panel has approved a fiscal blueprint that would pave the way for a major rewrite of the U.S. tax code, a top priority of President Donald Trump and his GOP allies in Congress.

The panel approved the measure on a party-line vote. The nonbinding plan would permit $1.5 trillion in debt-financed tax cuts. Those would contribute to annual deficits that would never drop below $400 billion - even if the Senate were to pass legislation implementing the measure's $5 trillion spending cut plan.

The measure faces a floor vote later this month.

Budget Chairman Mike Enzi says the measure would allow "American families and small businesses to keep more of their hard-earned dollars."

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11:50 a.m.

The House has passed a $4.1 trillion budget plan that promises deep cuts to social programs and Cabinet agency budgets, but whose chief purpose is to set the stage for a comprehensive GOP overhaul of the U.S. tax code later this year.

The measure won approval along party lines.

The plan calls for more than $5 trillion in spending cuts over the coming decade, including a plan to turn Medicare into a voucher-like program for future retirees, slash Medicaid, and repeal the "Obamacare" health law.

But Republicans are not actually planning to impose any of those cuts with follow-up legislation that would be required under Washington's Byzantine budget rules. Instead, the motivating force behind the budget measures is the Republicans' party-defining drive to rewrite the tax code.

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4:06 a.m.

Republicans are focused on cutting taxes instead of deficits as they look to power a $4.1 trillion budget plan through the House on Thursday.

The 2018 House GOP budget promises deep cuts to social programs and Cabinet agency budgets but its chief purpose is to set the stage for action later this year on a comprehensive Republican overhaul of the U.S. tax code that is the party's top political priority as well as a longtime policy dream of key leaders like Speaker Paul Ryan.

The plan calls for more than $5 trillion in spending cuts over the coming decade, including a plan to turn Medicare into a voucher-like program for future retirees, slash Medicaid by about $1 trillion over the coming decade, and repeal the "Obamacare" health law.

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