The briefing notes leaked to Erick Erickson yesterday estimated that the FY2012 cuts from the Boehner plan would be $25 billion – all from outlays. That was vital for the passage of a plan like this; multiple freshmen members of the House were holding out their support for the bill until they saw the FY2012 cuts.
But how big are the cuts really? This is something that can scuttle the whole deal; there are a lot of bitter Republicans who think they gave up too much in the CR deal, and still think they were fed the wrong numbers. (That deal was rescued from a trouble spot when Republicans quickly tutored members on why the reports about the outlay/cut gap were wrong.) Boehner was asked point blank at his morning briefing about how big the cuts are.
“The package of discretionary cuts is real,” Boehner said. “Next year’s spending on the discretionary side will be less than last year.”
No number yet, except that The Hill reports that the cut is $6 billion. Also not yet assigned a number – the vote count for this plan. Ask any Republican if it has 217 votes in the conference, and he/she does not say “yes.” Which means some Democrats will need to swallow it, which is what Boehner started to tee up this morning.
“This is a bipartisan bill,” he said, referring to how it came out of negotiations with Harry Reid.