Today, the United States Senate is set to vote on two bills designed to address the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts set to begin tomorrow. The Republican version preserves the size of the cuts but grants President Obama the flexibility to direct what gets cut so that government service disruption is minimized. The Democratic version transfers half of the cuts to agriculture subsidies and Defense and offsets the other half of the cuts by creating a new tax on the rich modeled on the Buffett Rule.
Or at least it was supposed to.
The Congressional Budget Office scored the Democrats’ bill last night and concluded their math does not quite add up:
CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimate that enacting the bill would increase budget deficits from changes in direct spending and revenues by $7.2 billion over the 2013-2023 period.
In other words, the Democrats failed to pay for the full $85 billion in spending cut rescissions.
Do the six Democrats running for reelection in red states in 2014 really want to vote for a bill that both adds to the deficit and has no chance of passing the House or Senate?