The CBO’s report is out, and reading it closely makes the Boehner plan look worse for budget-cutting Republicans than they’d been led to believe it would be. Here was how Paul Ryan sold it at National Review.
In addition to securing a down payment of $1.2 trillion in spending cuts, the Budget Control Act tasks a congressional committee with cutting $1.8 trillion more.
According to CBO, the bill cuts $850 billion to start with. For FY2012 outlays, it cuts $5 billion in non-defense discretionary spending; $1 trillion if you don’t count defense. The 11th hour CBO report on the CR made that deal look worse, and this may have the same effect.
UPDATE: The bill is being rewritten somewhat, in a hurry, to frontload more cuts. Because of the GOP rule that requires 72 hours before bills come up for votes, this adds a little uncertainty to a planned Wednesday vote on the bill. Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office could not immediately say if there would be any changes.
“It’s just a bizarre display,” says Andrew Moylan, VP of government affairs for the National Taxpayers Union, one of the groups opposing the bill. “The whole point of Boehner’s new bill was to draft something that could pass, yet in trying to lob one over for Democrats he overshot his own caucus. Now Dems will gladly watch him twist in the wind.”