U.S. House Republicans narrowly passed a new balanced budget plan from Representative Paul Ryan on Thursday in a vote that will help shape the debate ahead of November's congressional elections.
The plan authored by Ryan, the influential House Budget Committee chairman, would eliminate deficits within 10 years, due largely to deep cuts to social safety net programs, grants for college students, and research and infrastructure spending. It also seeks to boost defense spending over the next decade without any increase in tax revenues.
The plan, which is not expected to be considered by the Democratic-controlled Senate, passed on a party-line vote of 219 to 205, with 193 Democrats and 12 Republicans voting against it.
The budget will serve largely as a campaign manifesto, highlighting Republicans' determination to shrink the federal debt, while opening the party up to attacks from Democrats over its proposed cuts.