Boehner, Reid Unveil Dueling Plans

White House backs Senate Democrats' version
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2011 2:58 PM CDT
House Speaker John Boehner earlier today.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – John Boehner and Harry Reid put forth starkly divergent plans for dealing with the debt ceiling, reports the Washington Post, with the White House jumping up to support the Senate Democrats' version and denounce the GOP's "my way or the highway approach." Boehner's vision is a short-term fix that's similar to the House's Cut, Cap, and Balance Act—but the House speaker says it's capable of passing both chambers, though the White House and Reid have branded it a "non-starter." Reid's plan reaches longer-term, but abandons earlier demands for significant revenue increases, notes Politico. A breakdown, via the Post's Ezra Klein:

Boehner's plan, aka "The Two-Step Approach to Hold President Obama Accountable:"

  • Cuts discretionary spending, to the tune of $1.2 trillion over a decade. Tasks a congressional panel with cutting another $1.8 trillion, likely via entitlement reform and savings, over a decade.
  • Raises the debt ceiling by up to $1 trillion, about another six months. It could then be renewed a second time.
  • No new taxes.
Reid's plan:
  • Would cut a smaller $2.7 trillion over 10 years, including an estimate $1 trillion from winding down wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The GOP is likely to brand this a sleight of hand, notes the New York Times.
  • Extends the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion, which would run through 2013.
  • Abandons Democrats' insistence on new taxes or revenues.

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