If a Cut, Cap, Balance Bill were to reach the Oval Office, the President would veto it, the Obama Administration announced Monday. In a Statement of Administration Policy, the Office of Management and Budget formalized what comes as no surprise – the White House “strongly opposes” H.R.2560.
“Neither setting arbitrary spending levels nor amending the Constitution is necessary to restore fiscal responsibility,” said the statement “Increasing the Federal debt limit, which is needed to avoid a Federal government default on its obligations and a severe blow to the economy, should not be conditioned on taking these actions.”
The OMB also said that the Cut, Cap, Balance Act would undercut the government’s commitments to seniors and middle-class families as a result of spending caps that would force significant cuts to entitlement programs, education and research and development.
Moreover, according to the Obama Administration, the Act creates a false choice between default and passing a Balanced Budget Amendment that, ‘in the years ahead, will likely leave the Nation unable to meet its core commitment of ensuring dignity in retiring.”
Speaker of the House John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced last week the House was set to act on the Cut, Cap, Balance Act. The bill, which dies the debt limit vote to spending cuts and caps and a balanced budget amendment, would cut spending by $111 billion in FY2012. And in 2012, spending would be scaled back to 22.5 percent of GDP.
The Act is expected to pass the Republican-controlled House, but would likely have a harder time in the Senate. (Obama’s champagne march to 2012)
The president, meanwhile, is reportedly still pushing for a large, $4 trillion debt reduction package. After meeting with Boehner and Cantor Sunday morning, the White House floated news that the Speaker was open to the large package, and once again it was back on the table.
Once the House and Senate vote on the Cut, Cap, Balance bills, Congress will move on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s fall-back plan, which has been gaining momentum since it was introduced last week. The plan would allow Obama to unilaterally request a debt limit increase.