Boehner Plan Faces Delay As Debt Deal Continues To Be Elusive
The delay was caused both by a Congressional Budget Office analysis that found the proposal by House Speaker John Boehner didn't score the promised savings and by conservatives' skepticism about the plan. Meanwhile, some news outlets are reporting on efforts by some advocacy groups to protect the poor against some of the cuts the have been on the table during the ongoing negotiations, and on what impact people might actually feel if Congress doesn't find a resolution and the nation instead defaults on its obligations.
The New York Times: Vote On Boehner Plan Delayed Amid Opposition
House Republican leaders were forced on Tuesday night to delay a vote scheduled on their plan to raise the nation's debt ceiling, as conservative lawmakers expressed skepticism and Congressional budget officials said the plan did not deliver the promised savings (Steinhauer and Hulse, 7/26).
Los Angeles Times: Republican Debt Plan Struggles In House
Boehner's challenge arrived at a pivotal moment for both the Republican Party and the country, after months of political deadlock. Just days remain before the federal government hits the $14.3-trillion limit on how much it can borrow, after which it could be unable to pay all of its bills and obligations. In proposing their own plan, House Republicans aimed to demonstrate that they could lead the nation away from the brink of economic disaster. But on Tuesday, they largely showed off the deep divisions that have dogged the GOP and Boehner's leadership all year (Mascaro and Hennessey, 7/27).
The Fiscal Times: Debt Ceiling Battle Fatigue Spawns Last Ditch Plan
Robert Greenstein of the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities warns that the Boehner plan would require deep cuts in the years immediately ahead in Social Security and Medicare benefits for current retirees, the repeal of health reform's coverage expansions, or major cuts in social safety net programs (Pianin and DePaul, 7/26).
The Washington Post: Ads By Christian Groups Pressure Lawmakers To Protect The Poor In Debt Talks
The group is responding to the heated battle between congressional Republicans and the White House over raising the country's $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, which must be lifted before Aug. 2 or else the nation will go into default. Republicans seek drastic spending cuts and major reform of entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security; Democrats want new revenue along with decreased spending (Wallsten, 7/26).
The Washington Post: Obama's '70 Million Checks' Per Month: Actually, It's Even More Than That
That works out to 27 payments per second, day after day - not just to the expected recipients, such as contractors, federal workers and Social Security beneficiaries, but also to those you might not think of, such as the victims of black lung disease and their widows (50,032 checks in June), and pensioners supported by the Railroad Retirement Board (613,912). In addition to those receiving the 70 million checks, there are many more who benefit from give-backs in the tax code, such as credits and deductions for mortgage interest, retirement savings and employer-provided health coverage. Studies have shown that these beneficiaries are far less likely than the recipients of actual checks to be aware of the perks they are getting (MacGillis, 7/26).
Meanwhile, some medical groups have suggested to the Gang of Six that a doctor pay raise be included in any budget deal.
Politico Pro: Groups Call For Primary Care Pay Raise
Family medicine groups have a new ask of the Gang of Six: Throw in a pay raise for primary care physicians. In a letter Tuesday to the six senators, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Council of Academic Family Medicine asked the group to recommend a 3 percent increase in payments to primary care physicians as part of any budget deal. They also said that, if a budget deal cuts back on the Medicare graduate medical education program, the cuts should be "tailored to allow for the advancement of primary care training" (Nather, 7/26).