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Oklahoma members of U.S. House support Republican budget plan

Republicans' blueprint would balance the budget in 10 years and shift Medicare into a program that provides subsidies to the elderly to buy private insurance
by Chris Casteel Published: March 22, 2013

All five U.S. House members from Oklahoma voted for the Republican budget on Thursday that would bring the federal budget to balance within 10 years, repeal Obamacare and change the structure of Medicare from a government program to one in which premiums for private insurance are subsidized by the government.

The GOP budget passed by a vote of 221 to 207, with all Democrats opposed. The Senate is considering its own budget blueprint this week.

Reps. Jim Bridenstine, R-Tulsa; Tom Cole, R-Moore; and James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, also voted for an alternative Republican budget on Wednesday that would cut spending more quickly and balance the budget in four years. That budget, which garnered just 104 votes, would also gradually raise the full retirement age for Social Security to 70 for those born in 1961 and later.

Cole said, “Passing a budget that balances in 10 years is a significant step that would have been impossible just a few years ago. The American people can now choose between a Senate Democratic budget that taxes more to pay for bigger government, or the House Republican budget based on the principle that taxpayers should not be punished for Washington's irresponsible spending.”

Lankford said, “The work on the House floor to debate and pass the (fiscal year 2014) House budget proposal is another step to put our nation back on solid economic footing and promote private-sector job growth.

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by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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