Boehner In Control, Reid Blinks for White House

The Speaker has gone ahead with the two step plan that he talked about over the weekend after dissing the president on Friday and meeting alone with congressional leaders. This marked a turning point, it seems, as control over the process and the public relations of the debt ceiling standoff appear to have shifted towards the GOP.

Harry Reid has done the blinking for the White House, putting forth a plan that cuts spending by $2.7 trillion with no tax hikes. The president has endorsed this plan, which it obviously had a hand in creating, so that it wouldn't have to accept the Boehner plan - a smaller increase which would force a revisiting of the debt ceiling before next years presidential election.

Speaker Boehner, GOP Leaders Outline Two-Step Approach to Cut Spending, Avoid Default

Washington (Jul 25)

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement on the two-step approach for cutting spending and preserving the full faith and credit of the United States that GOP leaders discussed with their Republican colleagues today:

“Republicans have put forward a responsible, common-sense proposal that meets our obligations to the American people and preserves the full faith and credit of the United States.  This plan is far from perfect, but it adheres to our principles of ensuring that spending cuts are greater than any debt hike and it includes no tax increases.  Importantly, it reflects the principles of ‘Cut, Cap, and Balance.’

“Time is running short and it would be irresponsible for the President to veto this common-sense plan and run the risk of default. I would encourage the Senate to pass this plan and the President to sign it.”

NOTE: This two-step approach outlined by GOP leaders today will (1) make spending cuts that are larger than any debt ceiling increase; (2) implement spending caps to restrain future spending; and (3) advance the cause of the Balanced Budget Amendment – without tax hikes on families and job creators.  Here is more information on the plan:

  • Cuts That Exceed The Debt HikeThe framework would cut and cap discretionary spending immediately, saving $1.2 trillion over 10 years (subject to CBO confirmation), and raise the debt ceiling by less – up to $1 trillion.

  • Caps To Control Future SpendingThe framework imposes caps on discretionary spending that would establish clear limits on future spending and serve as a barrier against government expansion while the economy grows.  Failure to remain below these caps will trigger automatic across-the-board cuts (otherwise known as sequestration). 

  • Balanced Budget AmendmentThe framework advances the cause of the Balanced Budget Amendment by requiring the House and Senate to vote on the measure after October 1, 2011 but before the end of the year, allowing the American people time to build sufficient support for this popular reform. 

  • Entitlement Reforms & SavingsThe framework creates a Joint Committee of Congress that is required to report legislation that would produce a proposal to reduce the deficit by at least $1.8 trillion over 10 years. Each Chamber would consider the proposal of the Joint Committee on an up-or-down basis without any amendments.  If the proposal is enacted, then the President would be authorized to request a debt limit increase of $1.6 trillion. 

  • No Tax Hikes
    The framework includes no tax hikes, a key principle that Republicans have been fighting for since day one.