Politics

Boehner reveals details of his debt limit proposal

Speaker of the House John Boehner will meet with the Republican caucus Monday afternoon to pitch his proposal to raise the debt limit and cut the federal deficit. Mincing no words, Boehner will call his plan the “Two-Step Approach to Hold President Obama Accountable.”

The Speaker will attempt to convince fellow Republicans that the plan meets all the GOP’ key demands: It cuts more money than the debt limit is increased, it includes spending caps, and it calls for an eventual vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment. It also contains no tax hikes.

The plan promises to cut $1.2 trillion from discretionary spending over ten years while raising the debt ceiling by no more than $1 trillion. It will also force Congress to vote on a constitutional amendment to balance the budget between October 1, 2011, and the end of the year.

Boehner will also propose a Joint Committee of Congress that will be required to produce legislation ensuring that the deficit shrinks by at least $1.8 trillion over the next ten years. If that legislation is then enacted, it would give President Obama the authority to request another debt limit increase of $1.6 trillion.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is also expected to reveal his own plan Monday afternoon. It will reportedly contain $2.7 trillion in spending cuts, with no tax hikes or major entitlement reforms.

UPDATE: The Cut, Cap, and Balance Coalition (CCB)will not be support Boehner’s plan, the group just announced. According to their statement, CCB is a set of principles not subject to negotiation, and Boehner’s plan doesn’t stack up. See the statement below.

“As we stated this morning, Cut, Cap and Balance is not merely a legislative framework, it is a series of principles.  Principles are not subject to negotiation.  Unfortunately, the Speaker’s plan falls short of meeting these principles.  Perhaps most troubling is the proposed Congressional Commission.  History has shown that such commissions, while well-intentioned, make it easier to raise taxes than to institute enduring budget reforms. Additionally, a symbolic vote on a balanced budget amendment at some later time minimizes its importance, as it will not be tied to an increase in the debt ceiling. A BBA that allows a tax increase with anything less than a 2/3 supermajority is not a serious measure.

“The fact remains there is only one plan that has passed the House with bipartisan support that will permanently end America’s debt problem and that is the Cut, Cap and Balance Act.  This Coalition is willing to sacrifice much in return for a permanent solution to this issue, but we will not sacrifice the fundamental principles of CCB.  To be clear, we are not criticizing the Speaker; however, we cannot support his framework, and we urge those who have signed the Pledge to oppose it and hold out for a better plan.”

Watch Dems, GOP turn focus to separate debt bills: