House GOP unveils its debt plan
July 25th, 2011
03:07 PM ET
3 years ago

House GOP unveils its debt plan

Washington (CNN) – With both sides still at an impasse on a debt deal to raise the nation's debt limit by Aug. 2, House Speaker John Boehner is moving forward with a new House GOP plan that would aim for roughly $3 trillion in cuts and raise the debt ceiling in two stages.

According to two senior House GOP aides, the new legislation would initially cut $1.2 trillion in discretionary spending through cuts in government programs and caps on spending over the next 10 years. If these caps aren't reached, the plan would force across the board spending cuts. If Congress exceeds caps on spending, cuts will be triggered across the board.


These cuts would be paired with an increase to raise the debt ceiling by $1 trillion, which aides expect would allow the Treasury to continue borrowing through February or March of 2012.

Any change to the proposed spending caps would require a vote by Congress.

The House Republican plan also sets up a 12 member bipartisan "joint committee for deficit reduction" which would be given broad authority and instructed to come up with $1.6 to $1.8 trillion in additional savings. It would be given a deadline of Nov. 23rd to report back its findings and if the committee's recommendations were approved by a simple majority vote, their report would go to both the House and Senate to vote on by Dec. 23.

The committee could include entitlement reforms, tax reforms, and further discretionary spending cuts to reach its deficit reduction target. If the committee's report passes both chambers the debt ceiling would be raised again, by approximately $1.6 trillion. Congress could vote to disapprove of the request, similar to a key element of the plan that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell proposed, but the President could veto any resolution of disapproval, and still raise the debt limit. If the committee’s plan fails to pass both houses, debt limit would not be raised.

In addition, the bill includes a requirement that both the House and Senate vote on a balanced budget amendment by the end of the year. It doesn't require that the amendment pass both Houses, as the GOP "cut, cap, and balance" plan did, just that both chambers vote on one.

Asked about the prospects for this plan in the Senate, one senior Republican aide said, "we believe that this is a very credible proposal that the Senate will have a very hard time rejecting."

While Speaker Boehner is moving ahead with this bill – and is still aiming for a vote on it this Wednesday – Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid is unveiling his own plan that would raise the debt ceiling through the end of 2012 and cut spending by $2.7 trillion over ten years.

While the GOP aides outlining the House plan didn't have all the details on Reid's proposal they threw cold water on the Senate Democratic plan. "I don't think it has much of a chance to pass the Senate," one aide told reporters.

But with House Democrats unlikely to give the new Boehner plan much support since it doesn't raise the debt ceiling through the end of 2012, these GOP sources declined to say whether Boehner could muster the votes to pass the plan with just Republicans.


Filed under: Debt • Deficit • GOP • House of Representatives • John Boehner
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Clay

    If these bozos permit the US to default on its debt, they should be arrested and punished for treason!

    July 25, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    In case any of you are wondering where the Democratic plan is, the House is mandated by the Constitution to originate all spending bills. The Senate can come with a Framework, but it must pass the House first before it can be voted on in the Senate. In order for a Democratic plan to come up for a vote, it would be up to Speaker Boehner to bring it to the floor.

    July 25, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  3. BobAD

    This is again an unworkable plan that the Republicans know will be rejected.

    July 25, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  4. Fair is Fair

    "the bill includes a requirement that both the House and Senate vote on a balanced budget amendment by the end of the year. It doesn't require that the amendment pass both Houses, as the GOP "cut, cap, and balance" plan did, just that both chambers vote on one."
    -----------
    Perfect. Put each and every senator and congressperson ON RECORD regarding his or her stance on forcing the federal government to have a balanced budget. In one way or another, 49 of the 50 states already have this.

    You want to talk about rating agencies downgrading our debt? Simple. DON'T AMASS ANY MORE.

    July 25, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  5. BILL, WI

    Well at least the numbers are close. But if they can not agree on the final write up within a week, the pay of Congress and the administration should be reduced 20% a week until an agreement is finalized.

    July 25, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  6. john dahodi

    Bottom Line, Republican goons want nothing less than bread, blood, shelter, humanity and clothing from the poor and middle class without sharing private planes, luxury second and third homes, vacation of more than 3 months around the Globe in chartered planes and above all permanent tax and loopholes relief tax codes!!!! Are we still woke-up or waiting for UPRISING similar to we are watching in the gulf nations????

    July 25, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  7. bellablue

    Charlie the Tuna, here!! Sorry John!!! THE DEMOCRATS AND OUR PRESIDENT SAID NO!!! NO!!! NO!!!!
    Does that word sound familiar to you and the Tea Party/Republicans????? If not, just look it up in the Sarah Palin Dictionary. You will find the dictionary at the Mars Public Library, way out there in Space!!! Yup!!! You Betcha!!!! NO!! NO!!! NO!!!!

    July 25, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  8. TomInRochNY

    Nero is tuning up his fiddle . . .

    July 25, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  9. REG in AZ

    "Bipartisanship" is still the all important missing ingredient and stubbornly catering to the interests of the few, while trying to con and manipulate public opinion for support, is just the continually offensive, criminally irresponsible and self-serving focus. "Compromise" and a mutual concern for the real interests of the majority, while honestly addressing the problems should be their concentration but their total effort is always to achieve their political ambitions, to serve the few who strongly support them and dictate to them and to deceive the public in the process. No wonder there is so much public frustration, anger and rebellion.

    July 25, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  10. Yikes!

    They keep throwing the same CRAP! Where is the balance? The shared pain? Why no TAX increases? (Yup, I said TAX!)

    July 25, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  11. BobAD

    Politically it is the Tea Party Extremists if this will destroy the Obama Presidency then they win if it doesn’t then they well have won by destroying the base of the GOP. The only losers in any case are the people of the US who are just pawns of this terror group.

    July 25, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  12. sue

    This is not acceptable......we Americans will have to go through this same old crap of waiting and watching these idiots vote on raising the debt ceiling again......the only way is to get off your High Horses and work together on a plan that is acceptable by both parties.....it can be done but Obama needs to tune out the Far Left Liberals and the Republicans need to shut up the Far right wing conservatives.......so do it and stop this Blame Game crap.......

    July 25, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  13. Republican Robber Baron

    Boener is peddling a typical band-aid approach...don't rock the boat and keep your Big $ Cronies happy. While the Middle Class gets stuck with the bill.

    July 25, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  14. Democrat Class Warfare & Race Baiting - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    All of this "cutting" is peanuts compared to the $20 TRILLION in debt Obama and the Democrats have set us up for over the next 10 years. But I guess you have to start somewhere. If it wasn't for the Republicans, Obama and the Democrats would be spending us right into bankruptcy TODAY.

    July 25, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. Max Newman

    It still sounds like the House Republicans are taking the my way or the highway tact. I feel they are trying to hijack our system of government. Last time I looked they only control the house which is very far from a mandate from the voters. Grow up you guys! Negotiation means that you have to make some comprises with the other side. If this pushes us into default I will donate money and put up signs in my yard for anyone who opposes these guys.

    July 25, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  16. REG in AZ

    How about demonstrating some responsible and honest concern for really resolving the problems with a sincere interest in getting it right for the majority – maybe by also supporting the allowing of the excessive Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthy to expire and cutting the substantial concessions made to the major oil companies, to show a sincerely conscientious effort that isn't just more of a "puppet" performance to pacify those "pulling the strings" and trying to con the public.

    July 25, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  17. A SURPLUS = REVENUES - EXPENSES

    There should be a basic awareness of the country's history before we elect members to Congress and certainly to "LEADERSHIP" positions. We waste too much time replowing old ground. For example, Mr. Boehner's plan states:
    – – – – – – – – –
    "and caps on spending over the next 10 years. If these caps aren't reached, the plan would force across the board spending cuts."
    – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    If my memory serves me correctly, the Graham Rudman act in the 1980's tried this [forced/automatic spending cuts] and was ruled unconstitutional. All this lame Republican Congress can do is try to warm up failed theories of the past.

    At the root of the problem is the cowardice of each and every Congressman to make the tough choices that would be right for the country but would cost them re-election. Congress was never meant to be a "career". People were expected to come serve for 6, 10, 12 years and then go back to a "real job". There is no accountability for the inactions; the public keeps electing the same idiots – from both parties.

    The news media should lambast Boehner's plan for re-cycling something that didn't work before. They should excoriate him for not being able to come up with an "original thought". I say this because the only way we are going to see change is to EMBARASS these mental lightweights out of office.

    July 25, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  18. Dean

    Good plan. Hey, Obama...when this crosses your desk, just put your 'X' on the line. Thanks.

    July 25, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  19. JACKSON

    Once again, those in the position to do something and fix the problem, play their political games and kick the problem down the road for the next batch of elected officials to do the same. Why the pushback on a Balanced Budget ammendment? We common folks live under such each and every day. If we exceed our budget and spend more than we make, the banks charge us NSF fees, or higher interest, etc. Perhaps Congress should be treated the same way. For every 1 million dollars (or whatever amount) that we are in debt for, deduct that % from their paychecks and lifetime benefits. This problem has been 'kicked' down the road for too, too long. We are running out of road, and with the current crop in Washington, there is no asphalt available to pave any more. Folks, it's crazy. I don't care if you're a Dem, Repub or in the middle, (the fault lies across the spectrum) but it's high time these 'characters' are held accountable. There was a quote in movie that rings true, "A little revolution every now and again is a good thing". Perhaps it's time for a good thing.

    July 25, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  20. Myron8160

    Go to hell goptea baggers

    July 25, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  21. Bill

    The two-stage idea is a non-starter Boehner. It will be raised through 2012. End of story.

    July 25, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  22. Maggie

    Here we go again with Obama supporting the Senate democrats proposal without considering the republicans' proposal. that is why the country is the way it is because is so partisan that it is making it difficult for the republicans to get anything passed through the Senate. For sure Obama has to be voted out in 2012 along with the Senate losing their majority. Obama and the democrats are causing such partisanship in this country which is not a healthy thing making it seem like segregation all over again. This time its democrats against rrepublicans....not healthy at all for us as a country. Obama has to go in 2012!!!!!!!

    July 25, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  23. Wes B.

    Not only does Boehner's plan kick the can...it also gives a big middle finger.

    Not terribly surprising.

    July 25, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  24. BeverlyNC

    Republicans have NO WORKABLE PLAN THAT MAKES ECONOMIC SENSE. Boehner wants a 2 step process where we go through this debt crisis negotiation again in 6 months! He wants to kill Medicare, Social Security, and other people programs. He refuses to end absurd subsidies for oil companies, tax loopholes so corporations like GE, EXXON, Bank of America etc will continue to pay ZERO in taxes. Republicans are ready to DESTROY OUR ECONOMY FOR THE 2ND TIME IN 5 YEARS just so billionaires can become richer and We the People can become poorer and have less rights.
    BOEHNER AND HIS REPUBLICAN PARTY ARE NOT LEADERS – JUST LIARS – AND WE NEED TO REMOVE ALL OF THEM FROM OFFICE IN 2012. WE NEED TO FOCUS ON JOBS, ECONOMY, AND STRENGTHEN EDUCATION, INFRASTRUCTURE, AND AMERICA'S FUTURE – NOT IDIOTIC POLITICAL GAMES REPUBLICANS PLAY TO OPPOSE EVERYTHING PRESIDENT OBAMA SAYS OR DOES.

    July 25, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  25. Thomas Mc

    Fear not, for it is all going exactly according to the plan ordered by the Filthy Rich, owners of the GOP and DNC.

    When the markets tumble, they will buy up securities for pennies on the dollar. Then, the polticians will raise the debt ceiling, the markets will recover, and the Filthy Rich will have made many billions of dollars in profits.

    Just watch.

    July 25, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
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