The more conservatives read Speaker John Boehner’s, R-Ohio, debt hike bill, the more they do not like it. FreedomWorks Legislative Counsel Dean Clancy came out against the bill this morning after concluding it does not “reflect the spirit” of the Cut Cap & Balance Pledge.
Clancy identifies three major objections to the bill: 1) Does not cut spending sufficient to reduce the deficit next year and thereafter; 2) Does not cap federal spending; and 3) Increases the debt ceiling without first passing a strong BBA out of Congress.
Also worrying for conservatives is the fact that the bill has zero language directing the “Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction” to focus on entitlement reform. Instead, the commission is directed only to “reduce the deficit by $1,800,000,000,000 or more over the period of fiscal years 2012 to 2021.” Worse, page 51 of the bill specifically contemplates the possibility that the committee could achieve that deficit reduction through tax hikes.
The Boehner bill is also extremely weak on short-term spending cuts. Jamie Dupree details how similar the Reid and Boehner bills are on the spending cut front:
Both agree that for Fiscal Year 2013, which is “next year’s” budget, the federal government would spend $1.047 trillion.
For Fiscal Year 2014, Democrats are at $1.068 trillion, Republicans at $1.066 trillion – a difference of $2 billion.
For Fiscal Year 2015, Democrats are at $1.089 trillion, Republicans at $1.086 trillion – a difference of $3 billion.
It is beginning to look like, relatively speaking, the Reid bill is the more conservative debt hike plan.