Republicans want to restrict spending and amend the Constitution
The White House is using a dramatic budget plan that comes to the House floor on Tuesday to attack Republicans as purveyors of reckless fiscal policy, even as Washington insiders argue that the vote will ease pressures within the Republican conference and bring Congress that much closer to a deal to lift the debt ceiling.
In essence, the most divisive budget proposal to come to a vote this year may also be the first step to compromise.
The bill, known as Cut, Cap and Balance --or in the White House's derisive talking points, "duck, dodge and dismantle"--would enact the spending cuts found in the House Republican budget, and constrain fiscal decision-makers by linking an increase in the debt ceiling to a balanced budget amendment that goes even further, capping spending at 18 percent of GDP--the U.S. last spent less than that in 1966--and ensuring that tax increases require a 2/3 supermajority in Congress.
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If enacted, the legislation would require massive changes in government programs, including cuts in health care spending and Social Security, and for Republicans, is a step further away from budget compromise talks even as the Treasury Department is set to run out of borrowing authority in just over two weeks.