House and Senate Leaders Race to Complete Debt Plans
Congressional leaders are scrambling to finalize their separate debt ceiling plans so that their colleagues can have the chance to vote on them as the August 2 deadline is fast approaching. Press secretary Jay Carney said that the deadline to raise the debt limit remains and the government could default on its obligations if Congress fails to increase the ceiling in time.
The Republican plan is made by House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio. It will raise the debt ceiling by $900 billion and cut spending by at least $1.2 trillion. It was scheduled to be voted on by Congress on Wednesday but Boehner pulled it back after the Congressional Budget Office said the plan fell short on the speaker’s cost-cutting goal.
After a few improvements on the plan, the CBO placed the cost savings at $915 billion. It is still less than what the GOP leaders wanted but more than the amount of the debt ceiling increase that Boehner planned to install.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada’s proposal would increase the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion with spending cuts of $2.7 trillion. The CBO said that Reid’s plan didn’t add up to the proposed spending cuts but Reid said he was comfortable with the agency’s $2.2 trillion savings.