In an attempt to draw a sharp contrast with House Republicans, Senate Democrats on Tuesday revealed important details of their own upcoming budget resolution — their first in four years — which represents a return to the negotiating position President Obama adopted after his re-election in November.The topline figures, according to a Democratic source familiar with the plan: $975 billion in targeted spending cuts, including the repeal of sequestration, and $975 billion in new revenue attained by closing tax loopholes on upper incomes. Combine that with $100 billion in new spending for a jobs package and the plan reduces the deficit by $1.85 trillion.
The target largely mirrors President Obama’s November proposal to find $1.6 trillion in additional revenue. He banked $620 billion in the fiscal cliff deal and the Democrats’ proposal achieves the rest by closing tax loopholes and deductions that benefit wealthy Americans and big corporations.
The spending cuts are divided up this way: $493 in domestic savings, including $275 in health care cuts that the Democratic source said would not harm seniors or families. Defense spending would be cut by $240 billion in accordance with troop drawdowns from overseas operations. An additional $242 billion in savings come from reduced interest payments.
House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and GOP leaders stress that their proposal would balance the budget within 10 years. The Democratic plan does not attempt to do so, but instead seeks to stabilize the medium term debt-to-GDP ratio — which most economists agree is the key to sustainable budgeting — while protecting important domestic priorities.
“While House Republicans are doubling down on the extreme budget that the American people already rejected,” Senate Budget Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) said in a statement to TPM, “Senate Democrats are going to be working on a responsible pro-growth budget that reflects the values and priorities of middle class families across the country.”