Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid put forward a plan which includes $2.7 trillion dollars in spending cuts over the next 10 years, half of which comes from defense spending and ending our tiresome adventures in the middle east. Harry Reid’s plan does not include any immediate revenues, but it is accompanied by a vow, under threat of veto, to let the Bush Tax Cuts expire at the end of next year.
One might think such a proposal, which does not include immediate tax hikes, would be something the Republicans could actually say yes to especially after Grover Norquist admitted that allowing the Bush Tax Cuts to expire would not be considered raising taxes. But it turns out, they won’t.
And not only that — Boehner’s problem with Reid’s proposal is that it doesn’t rip apart Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security even though Boehner’s plan doesn’t rip apart Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security either.
The White House had already signed on to Reid’s conservative plan, making it the best hope of averting a crisis since Boehner walked out of negotiations Friday. “This is an offer that Republicans can’t refuse,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY).
Apparently not. The Reid plan “makes no changes to the biggest drivers of our deficit and our debt and that would be entitlement programs,” Boehner said at a late afternoon press conference, flanked by other GOP leaders. This demand seemed to be a brazen moving of the goal posts, as entitlement cuts never appeared to be red-line demand for Republicans for raising the debt ceiling.
Boehner put forward his own debt plan this afternoon, which would presumably would address his newly discovered demand. But Boehner’s office told staff members of his own caucus that his plan wouldn’t touch Social Security, Medicare, or the Affordable Care Act.
Boehner is demanding that the Democrats put forth a bill which cuts entitlements, even though his own proposal doesn’t cut entitlements.
The Republicans are already on record several times for having voted in favor of gutting Medicare and Medicaid, so they need the Democrats to do the same before election season. They are attempting to use the debt ceiling as a wedge issue to accomplish this.
The countdown to August 1st continues.