When the Congressional Budget Office's legislative scoring of Speaker Boehner's debt plan revealed that its cuts did not exceed the dollar amount of the debt limit hike it authorized, many conservatives were dismayed, and Democrats were "gleeful." Boehner's office vowed to retool the legislation to ensure that it meets the dollar-for-dollar pledge Republicans have pushed since negotiations began. The CBO just released its report on the revamped legislation, and it appears that the issue has been rectified. It would "cut" (and by "cut," I mean lower the trajectory of spending increases) by about $917 Billion through 2021. Under the deal, the debt ceiling would be raised by $900 Billion. It's true that "out year" cuts should be viewed with a great deal of skepticism, as they rarely fully materialize -- despite some of the enforcement mechanisms and caps within Boehner's bill. It also front-loads the cuts more than Boehner 1.0 did, resulting in a pitiful $1 billion in deficit reductions next year.
For a recap on the structure and main provisions of Boehner's deal, click through, or read the always-sharp Keith Hennessey's primer. As we discussed earlier, the plan is gaining steam, and Republican leaders are beginning to sound more optimistic that it will pass tomorrow. The White House and Harry Reid are calling the exercise a "waste of time" -- their standard verdict on every solution Republicans propose.
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