Committee Readies Plan to Cut Taxes of the Wealthy and Increase Debt, Won’t Wait for a Nonpartisan Budget Office Score *
The Republican Senate is poised to try to ram through its version of the budget for running our country with the potential impact of the proposal publicly known only hours before the vote.
In the arcane machinations of the Senate, the 89-page budget document being considered by the Budget Committee is not a bill to be signed into law but a resolution that Trump and the extreme Republicans plan to use as part of the legislative process to further enrich their billionaire supporters with tax cuts. The actual legislation will be produced later by the Finance Committee, but a provision deep in the resolution calls for throwing out a requirement that the Congressional Budget Office score of the legislation be made public at least 28 hours before a vote.
Joe Brenckle, the communications director for the Budget Committee, said the requirement was “found to be unnecessary.”
The Congressional Budget Office produces nonpartisan estimates of the budget costs and other effects of legislation. The CBO reports on Republican efforts to kill off the Affordable Care Act and take away health insurance from millions helped doom the legislation, at least for now.
And Republicans are peeved. Some House Republicans have tried to cut the agency’s funding in half or eliminate staffers’ jobs.
“At some point, you’ve got to ask yourself, has the day of the CBO come and gone?” said White House budget director Mick Mulvaney.
The Senate Budget Committee began marking up—amending and rewriting—the budget resolution Wednesday afternoon and is scheduled to continue today. The proposed House budget would require a tax plan that doesn’t add to the deficit.
The secrecy provision is a small part of the Senate budget resolution that would only need 50 votes, not the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster. The Senate plan would cut taxes as much as $1.5 trillion over the next decade and hugely favors those with incomes of more than $730,000 a year. Taxpayers in the bottom 95% would have tax cuts averaging 1.2%.
The CBO has already cast doubt on the wishful numbers in Trump’s budget which projected 3% growth and ending the deficit within a decade. The CBO forecast growth of 1.8% to 1.9%, a $720 billion deficit and dramatic cuts in social programs.
Featured Photo: Senate Budget Committee, Wednesday.
*This story has been corrected to clarify the Senate budget process.