The committee could pass a reconciliation bill, they noted, instructing committees of jurisdiction to find those savings above and beyond the budget baseline. One option could be reassigning about $70 billion in those discretionary spending cuts to the mandatory side of the ledger through the reconciliation process.
The two leaders sent a joint memo to all Member offices Thursday with a “budget reconciliation primer” outlining in general terms of what the process is and how it works.
But asked whether such a move would be included in his plan, Ryan said only, “You’ll see when we release our budget.”
Regardless, RSC members are already grousing about the proposal.
The group’s chairman, Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio), said Thursday that any cuts to mandatory spending should come in addition to the discretionary cuts called for in the sequester, not in lieu of them.
“Of course we should try to achieve savings in the mandatory spending,” he said. “We think that’s good. But we would prefer that be in addition to the way the law reads.”
Meanwhile, the internal strife in the House GOP has caught the eye of Democratic Senators who plan to stick with the BCA in writing their spending bills.
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (Wash.) blasted the House GOP in an interview Thursday and said its plans to deviate from the BCA is “setting the stage for a government shutdown.”
The two sides could still be arguing about spending levels right up to the Sept. 30 deadline, when the law that funds the government expires, making for yet another high-stakes showdown.
“They are showing us once again that a deal is not a deal, and that is very dangerous moving forward,” Murray said. “If they insist on breaking the deal … then they are setting the framework for us not being able to do our jobs.”
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., takes a selfie with his cut-out head during the Hoops for Youth 16th annual charity basketball game held at George Washington University's Smith Center, September 8, 2014. The members of Congress team beat the lobbyist team 46-40. Buy photo here.