John Boehner thought he had it all taken care of what he proposed a plan to trim $1.2 trillion in spending by taking an axe to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Now it looks like the Republican Congress speaker must have forgotten to carry over the one as it turns out that his budget plan falls a little short — by around $350 billion.
The Congressional Budget Office released an analysis yesterday that shows that Boehner’s figure was off by nearly one-third of what he said it would be. Now Republicans are trying to re-do the legislation in time to have it ready for presentation this week.
Boehner’s eleventh hour plan would have sidelined the debt crisis momentarily as the clock ticks closer to the August 2 deadline. Instead, Republicans are now scrambling with calculators in hand to keep the US from defaulting as the country inches closer to slamming into the $14 trillion debt ceiling.
Because the GOP insists that bills sit for 72 hours before they can be voted on, if Congress does agree to a new plan — if it is drafted in time and the math is correct — it will come as a very last minute move. The earliest lawmakers will get to see the bill at this rate is Thursday, less than a week before the government is expected to run out of money.
Andrew Moylan of the National Taxpayers Union says “It’s just a bizarre display.”
“The whole point of Boehner’s new bill was to draft something that could pass, yet in trying to lob one over for Democrats he overshot his own caucus,” Moylan tells Slate. “Now Dems will gladly watch him twist in the wind.”
President Barack Obama has gone before the American people three times this month to discuss the debt crisis. The top three credit rating agencies have all threatened to devalue the US’ credit rating with or without a solution to the debt ceiling dilemma.
Speaking to RT earlier this month, Mani Capital President Raj Doshi said that Boehner’s ongoing debate over the debt is nothing more than political theatre and will not have any actual impact. “Our leaders might talk about spending cuts in the future, but that doesn’t really mean anything,” says Doshi. “You can only make cuts to the current year’s budget. Saying that they will cut spending over five, ten, 15 years in the future doesn’t really mean anything,” he adds.