House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan says even though the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scored Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s debt-reduction plan as cutting more spending upfront than the House GOP plan, it actually relies on a “war gimmick,” that there will be a surge and then savings realized when the United States leaves Afghanistan.
The Wisconsin Republican also said Wednesday on CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report” that House Speaker John Boehner’s plan has real cuts that will prevent the nation’s debt from rising.
“Well first of all Reid’s has a big gimmick in it — the war gimmick. We’re assuming that Afghanistan is going to be at surge levels for 10 years and then if we have a pullout that saves us a bunch of money — that’s really a gimmick,” Ryan said. “So what we have are actual cuts that are real, that are not gimmick cuts — real cuts.”
According to the CBO, the upfront cuts in Boehner’s plan are $917 billion over 10 years, while the Reid plan cuts $2.2 trillion. Ryan said Reid’s bill, however, “raises the debt limit right away by $2.4 trillion, but doesn’t have the kind of cuts to exceed that amount.”
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Host Lawrence Kudlow noted there was some debate over the amount of upfront guaranteed cuts in the Boehner plan and wondered why the debate was not centered on Ryan’s budget plan, where the amount of cuts were not in question.
“We passed the Ryan plan — we passed the House Republican budget — that has passed the House,” Ryan said. “The Senate for two years hasn’t bothered trying to pass a budget — the president has yet to offer a budget to fix this problem.
“What did we do? We actually put it on paper, scored, and passed it,” he said. “So what we have here is if these $1.8 trillion in cuts don’t materialize then the debt limit does not go up. So we have the leverage of making sure that if the president wants his debt limit increased through the election — which is his big issue — then you have to have these cuts passed into law first. If they are not passed into law, then he doesn’t get the debt limit increase.”
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