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  • CBO: Budget Deal Falls Short By $14B To Offset Costs

    An analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released Tuesday shows the two-year budget agreement negotiated between congressional leadership and the White House falls $14 billion short of offsetting costs.

    The 144-page discussion draft, announced shortly before midnight Monday evening, will lift sequester-level spending cuts by $50 billion in 2016 and $30 billion in 2017.

    The $80 billion hike was supposed to be offset by changes to Social Security and a 2 percent cut to Medicaid but according to the CBO, the plan will generate just $75.68 billion in revenue.

    The nonpartisan scorekeeper projects the estimated outlays come in at $89.74 billion — $14 billion less than what is needed to balance out the increases in spending.

    While the bipartisan measure is expected to pass, the bill has seen some pushback from conservatives in both chambers.

    If the legislation is successful, it will be one of House Speaker John Boehner’s last acts in Congress before he steps down Friday, taking some of the pressure off his likely successor Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan.

    “I’m worried about how fast it’s moving,” Sen. Jeff Sessions told Politico. “I see no reason for that. Based on what I know now, it appears the president got whatever he wanted.”

    Heritage Action for America, the lobbying branch of the Heritage Foundation, also spoke out against the deal and condemned its spending increases.

    “This budget and debt deal is being brokered by a lame duck speaker and a lame duck president.  It represents the very worst of Washington – a last minute deal that increases spending and debt under the auspices of fiscal responsibility,” Heritage Action CEO Michael A. Needham and Club for Growth President David McIntosh said in a statement. “The House should work to empower a new speaker to preserve the spending caps and fight for serious reforms contained in the budget. Heritage Action and the Club for Growth call on Chairman Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Majority Whip Steve Scalise to stop this zombie budget deal.”

    In addition to lifting the caps set in place by the 2011 Budget Control Act, the deal will also allow the Department of Treasury to continue borrowing until March 2017.

    The bill could come to a vote as soon as Wednesday. If it doesn’t pass, Congress has until Nov. 3 before the debt-limit deadline and Dec. 11 to produce a budget to prevent a government shutdown.

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