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Wednesday
Jul272011

CBO Score: Senate Plan Cuts Deficits by $2.2 Trillion over Next 10 Years

Reid [dot] Senate [dot] gov(WASHINGTON) -- One day after the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office scored the Boehner plan, finding it short on cuts, the CBO on Wednesday morning released a more favorable score for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s debt ceiling plan.

CBO, the nonpartisan budget accounting arm of Congress, estimates that Reid's legislation would reduce budget deficits by about $2.2 trillion over the next 10 years.  The score could perhaps breathe new momentum into to the Senate plan.

Reid’s plan would raise the debt ceiling by $2.7 trillion -- past the next presidential election and into 2013.  The competing proposal from Boehner is a two-step plan that would require another debt ceiling vote in about six months.

But don't look for Republicans to flock to Reid's proposal.  They have complained that nearly half the cuts in Reid's proposal are not actually cuts: $1 trillion comes from the “winding down” of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Republicans have said this is a disingenuous way of counting money that would not have been spent anyway since the wars are already winding down. Boehner had called such accounting maneuvers in Reid's plan "gimmicks."

Discretionary spending cuts in Reid's proposal would result in $840 billion in lower authorized spending, the CBO report said Wednesday morning, and $750 billion in actual lower outlays in the next 10 years.

Speaker of the House Boehner’s plan, scored Tuesday by the CBO, found $850 billion in savings -- less than the Speaker had anticipated.  Boehner has delayed a House vote originally scheduled for Wednesday in order to find more savings, and rally more votes in the House for the plan.

The Senate plan is not scheduled for a vote yet.

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