Politics

Reid unveils rival debt limit plan

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid unveiled his debt ceiling plan at a press conference on Capitol Hill Monday afternoon, claiming it contains everything the GOP wants in a debt limit package.

The majority leader, along with Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, also had harsh words for the Republican caucus’ rigidness throughout the negotiations.

Reid’s plan contains dollar-for-dollar spending cuts to debt increase, cutting $2.7 trillion over a decade. He rejected House Speaker John Boehner’s plan out of hand, saying it was a “non-starter.”

In his roll-out, Reid highlighted the fact that his plan meets the Republicans’ two biggest criteria: it has no revenues, and the amount of cuts equals the debt ceiling increase.

“All Republicans have to do is say yes,” said Reid. “Unfortunately, Republicans are being driven by a radical, right wing,” adding that the driving force is “so in tune with the Tea Party.”

“We should not let these extremists dictate direction of debate,” said Reid.

Schumer chimed in, criticizing Boehner’s “two-step plan” as a “dodge”. (Boehner reveals details of his debt limit proposal)

“Does anyone think it would be a good idea to do this all over again in six months?” said Schumer. “[It] would leave a cloud of default hanging over our heads for the next several months.

The senator from New York also declared that if Republicans vote against the Reid plan, it means they want to default. “Every time we seem to be making a little progress, they walk away,” said Schumer, referring to the Republicans’ insistence that a deal fall squarely within their own parameters.

“We have moved in their direction so many different times, and they don’t budge,” Schumer added. “Here, we move totally in their direction. Their proposal doesn’t move an inch in our direction.”

“There are 100 people in the House who don’t care if we default, who are extreme and ideological,” Schumer continued.”Those 100 people do not represent America.”

The White House released a statement on Reid’s proposal, calling it a “reasonable approach that should receive the support of both parties.” (http://dailycaller.com/2011/07/25/rep-steve-king-obama-could-be-impeached-over-debt-crisis/”>(Rep. Steve King: Obama could be impeached over debt crisis)

“The plan would make a meaningful down payment in addressing our fiscal challenge, and we could continue to work together to build on it with a balanced approach to deficit reduction that includes additional spending reforms and closing tax loopholes for corporations, millionaires and billionaires,” read the White House statement.

The legislation will be introduced on the floor sometime Monday night.

UPDATE: Details of Reid’s spending cuts, sent to The Daily Caller, are as follows.

  • $1.2 trillion in discretionary spending, including bot defense and non-defense spending
  • $100 billion in mandatory savings
  • $40 billion in Program Integrity Savings, by reducing fraud and abuse in federal programs
  • $30 billion in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reforms
  • $15 billion in Spectrum sales
  • $10-15 in Agricultural reforms
  • $1 trillion from winding downs the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • $400 billion in interest savings – $220 from discretionary spending cuts and $180 from $180 billion from the Wars saving