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Congress: The House GOP's budget

"House Republicans finally unveiled their 2010 budget proposal -- with actual numbers this time -- and proposed sweeping new plans to contain the cost of Medicare and Medicaid, ditch stimulus spending and enact a new round of tax cuts," Roll Call writes. 


Video: Key points of the GOP's alternative budget include simplifying the tax code, rescinding parts of the stimulus package and cutting corporate taxes. MSNBC's Mike Viqueira reports.

The New York Times says the GOP budget plan, "introduced after days of ridicule from Democrats about the absence of an alternative to President Obama's proposal, would also freeze most domestic spending for five years, increase Pentagon spending, permanently extend the Bush-era tax breaks and eliminate any taxes on successful investments in 2010 as a way to spur the economy."

More: "Representative John M. Spratt Jr., Democrat of South Carolina and chairman of the Budget Committee, said the Republican plan to cut trillions of dollars in federal spending could severely curtail Medicare, which Republicans would overhaul for Americans now younger than 55 by subsidizing private health insurance for them when they retire. Democrats also pointed to a $22 billion reduction in spending on education as another objectionable element."

"For former Sen. Ted Stevens, legal vindication is not translating into a political one. Stevens' former colleagues, while widely sympathetic to the convicted, defeated and about-to-be-cleared Alaskan, are not rushing to restore his honor in the Senate." 
 
Sen. Orrin Hatch said Stevens "got screwed" by the Justice Department. 
 
"[S]ome government ethics advocates worried that the decision, another blow to the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section, will make it even harder for the government to press charges against Members of Congress," Roll Call reports. |
 
"The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved legislation to curb 'excessive' employee pay at financial firms that receive government bailout funds, a measure that could supplant an earlier effort to heavily tax executive bonuses," the AP writes. "The bill, which passed on a 247-171 vote, would give the U.S. Treasury broad powers to prohibit 'unreasonable and excessive' compensation and bonuses that are not based on performance standards." 
 
"The Senate voted yesterday to boost aid to Pakistan and increase funds for security along the US-Mexico border, but rejected a Republican attempt to freeze spending on domestic programs." 
 
"House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who caused consternation in his party by voting in favor of taxing AIG executive bonuses, voted 'present' Wednesday on a second bill aimed at tackling bonuses."