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House Republicans delayed until Thursday a vote on Speaker John Boehner’s deficit reduction plan, which is being rewritten to include deeper spending cuts.
Aides were frantically looking Tuesday night for more savings after a Congressional Budget Office score revealed it would cut just $1 billion from the deficit next year. The bill had been scheduled to reach the floor Wednesday but was postponed by a day, according to Laena Fallon, spokeswoman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.).
Using an up-to-date baseline, the CBO estimated that Boehner’s bill would save $850 billion over the next decade, which is less than the immediate $1 trillion debt limit increase that the measure includes. Relative to the January baseline, it would save a bit more: $1.1 trillion. That’s because the up-to-date baseline incorporates cuts already enacted, including the continuing resolution funding the government.
Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said House Republicans would rework the bill to make sure spending cuts exceed any increase in the debt limit.
“We’re here to change Washington: no more smoke and mirrors, no more ‘phantom cuts,’” Steel said. “We promised that we will cut spending more than we increase the debt limit, with no tax hikes, and we will keep that promise.
Support for Boehner’s package is also unclear. Republican Members exiting a briefing about the plan Tuesday night offered mixed levels of support, with some denouncing it outright.
“I am searching for a path towards yes but having a hard time finding it,” freshman Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) said after leaving the briefing.
“I’m pretty much a firm no,” Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) said.