Revised Boehner Bill Cuts $917 Billion, Raises Debt Ceiling by $900 Billion
8:02 PM, Jul 27, 2011 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
This evening, the Congressional Budget Office released its score of John Boehner's revised "Budget Control Act."
The new report shows that the bill would cut discretionary spending by $917 billion over 10 years while raising the debt ceiling by $900 billion. The bill would reduce the deficit by $22 billion in 2012. The discretionary spending cuts for 2012 aren't that far off* from the cuts in the House-passed 2012 budget, which all but four Republicans voted for last spring. (The 2012 cuts were incorporated into the "cut, cap, balance" plan.)
Yuval Levin calls the bill a "modest improvement" and explains why the up-front cuts are significant:
Yesterday's bill scored only $1 billion in deficit reduction next year. Boehner revised the bill because he'd promised that cuts would be greater than the debt ceiling hike. Because the drafters of the original bill were working off the January CBO budget projections, rather than a revised March update, the bill scored as $850 billion in cuts tied to a $1.2 trillion debt hike.
“We’re here to change Washington – no more smoke-and-mirrors, no more ‘phantom cuts,’" Boehner said in a statement last night following the release of the CBO's report. "We promised that we will cut spending more than we increase the debt limit – with no tax hikes – and we will keep that promise. As we speak, Congressional staff are looking at options to adjust the legislation to meet our pledge. This is what can happen when you have an actual plan and submit it for independent review – which the Democrats who run Washington have refused to do.”
*Paul Ryan's House Budget Committee has a useful chart** comparing the various budget proposals flying around:
As you can see, the Budget Control Act cuts just a couple billion more in non-war discretionary spending than the Reid plan does. But the key difference between the Boehner and Reid plans is that Congress must vote on another package of $1.8 trillion in cuts in order to raise the debt ceiling through the 2012 election.
The Budget Control Act cuts nearly $100 billion deeper than Obama's budget request, and its non-war discretionary cuts fall $24 billion shy of the House-passed 2012 budget resolution.
**Fair warning: you're about to get deeper into the budgetary weeds. In this chart, "BA" stands for budget authority and "OT" stands for outlays in the chart. A congressional aide explains the difference in an email (in case you're interested):