Meanwhile, the Joint Committee on Taxation Monday released an
estimate of Obama's tax proposals showing a net tax cut of $3 trillion
over the next decade.
That does not count revenues from climate change and international
tax reform proposals that have not been fleshed out, which Obama's
budget office initially scored as raising $856 billion in combined
revenues. If those revenues were factored in, it would still show a net
tax cut of more than $2.1 trillion using congressional scorekeeping
Most of the revenue projections track roughly with Obama's budget
estimates, with some minor exceptions. For example JCT scored a series
of tax increases on the oil and gas industry as raising $26.7 billion,
as opposed to $31.5 billion.
A bigger hit comes from repeal of the "last-in, first-out"
accounting method, which JCT scored as a $79.5 billion tax increase,
rather than $61.1 billion in Obama's budget. Numerous industries back
the existing LIFO accounting method, from auto dealerships to whiskey
The Senate will begin voting on amendments today with the bulk of
the "vote-a-rama" -- the annual chaotic series of votes on an unlimited
number of amendments permitted on the budget resolution -- expected
Thursday, leadership aides said.
"It's gonna be just a ridiculously heavy day," said one GOP leadership aide. A final Senate vote is expected by Friday.
With only a majority needed to advance the resolution, Republicans
concede they have little chance to block it. House and Senate
Republicans are nevertheless culminating weeks of criticism of the
Democrats' spending plans with a coordinated rhetorical attack. And
they hope to deny either the House or the Senate resolutions a single
As voting speeds up Wednesday, the full House and Senate Republican
conferences will hold a rare joint meeting on the House floor, in what
aides call an effort to rally opposition. "It's just a show of
Republican unity," a Senate GOP leadership spokesman said.
Obama met with House Democratic leaders Monday, where he made his
case to pass the budget "powerfully and persuasively" and that it's
"part and parcel" of his plan for the nation's economic recovery, said House Majority Leader Hoyer.
House Speaker Pelosi said that by the time the
budget passes, they will have done more for health care than has been
done in decades and more for education than in history.
General debate in the House is expected to begin Wednesday with a final vote likely Thursday.
Similar to last year, the House Progressive Caucus intends to offer
an alternative budget, but Democratic aides said that, ultimately,
Democrats will "rally around the president's budget."
Senate Republicans are expected to offer several amendments,
including proposals to reduce spending rejected in committee markup
last week. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said Monday he
will offer an amendment that would require that any greenhouse gas
cap-and-trade program -- an initiative Obama has called for and is
allowed under the resolution -- would not result in increased gas or
electricity prices. Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., introduced an amendment that would bar the use of budget reconciliation to provide for a cap-and-trade program.