Congress

The Capitol is seen in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

J. Scott Applewhite

The House of Representatives approved a $4.1 trillion spending plan Thursday that will serve as a vehicle for advancing tax reform in Congress. 

The budget passed by a 219-206 vote. No Democrats supported the resolution, which would boost military spending, slash funding for Medicaid and other social programs and repeal the Affordable Care Act. 

Eighteen Republicans voted against the budget. Two New York congressmen, U.S. Reps. John Katko and Peter King, opposed the multi-trillion dollar spending plan. 

Katko, R-Camillus, released a statement to explain his vote. He thought the budget "came up short" for his district. 

"This proposal claims entitlement savings by making billions of dollars in cuts to Medicaid and other programs, but it effectively shifts this burden to the states and fails to address the underlying causes of rising costs," he said. "New York taxpayers simply cannot afford another unfunded mandate." 

Most New York Republicans supported the House GOP budget plan. U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney voted for the resolution. She said it would help reduce the national debt, cut spending and spur economic growth. 

Tenney, R-New Hartford, also touted reforms to Medicaid and Medicare. She said Medicaid was "on an unsustainable path." 

"Within the next 10 years, our budget will balance and our deficit will be reduced by $6.5 trillion," she said. "To ensure a strong national defense, the primary role of the federal government, the budget increases defense spending, giving our troops the resources necessary to successfully complete their missions."

After the vote, the White House issued a statement praising the House for passing the budget resolution. 

The comments from the White House acknowledged the real reason for the measure: to advance the Republicans' tax reform plan. 

With GOP control of Congress and the White House, leaders are optimistic that tax reform can be achieved. A framework for tax reform has been released, but specifics are lacking. 

The Middle-Class Growth Initiative, a project of the GOP-aligned American Action Network, hailed the passage of the budget resolution as the "first step to making comprehensive tax reform ... a reality." 

"We urge Congress to keep pushing forward," said Michael Steel, spokesman for the initiative. "Middle-class families have waited decades for an overhaul of our broken tax code, and they can't afford to wait any longer." 

Here is how New York's House delegation voted on the GOP budget: 

YES (7)

Rep. Chris Collins (R), Rep. Dan Donovan (R), Rep. John Faso (R), Rep. Tom Reed (R), Rep. Elise Stefanik (R), Rep. Claudia Tenney (R), Rep. Lee Zeldin (R)

NO (20)

Rep. Yvette Clarke (D), Rep. Joseph Crowley (D), Rep. Eliot Engel (D), Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D), Rep. Brian Higgins (D), Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D), Rep. John Katko (R), Rep. Peter King (R), Rep. Nita Lowey (D), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D), Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D), Rep. Gregory Meeks (D), Rep. Grace Meng (D), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D), Rep. Kathleen Rice (D), Rep. Jose Serrano (D), Rep. Louise Slaughter (D), Rep. Tom Suozzi (D), Rep. Paul Tonko (D), Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D)

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