Republican and Democrat leaders brought out a new compromise federal budget Monday, and the House acted quickly to pass it Thursday by a lopsided 332-94 vote. The budget was the work of House budget chairman Paul Ryan, who ran for vice president in Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign. Ryan worked with Senate budget committee chairwoman Patty Murray. The two said they would try to work out a deal in mid-October, after the two-week-long government shutdown finally ended.
The deal would fund the government for two years.
It sets government spending at $1.012 trillion for this fiscal year that runs through September, and $1.014 trillion next year. Overall, it proposes to reduce the deficit by more than $20 billion, according to a report by the Cable News Network.
Conservatives are unhappy about it, in part because it cancels about 35 percent of the automatic sequester cuts that have helped reduced the federal deficit in the last year.
In fiscal year 2013, the federal deficit fell by about $400 billion, according to the Washington Post, citing the Congressional Budget Office.
Conservatives said most of so-called “deficit reduction” under the proposal will not occur until 2016-23, including $28 billion of proposed cuts to defense and non-defense spending that are not set to occur until 2022-23.
“The supposed 'out-year' cuts are simply a cynical insult to taxpayers who now know that when push comes to shove, the cuts will not be kept,” Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens said after the deal was announced.
“This is just one more example of how out of touch our national leaders are to the real priorities of the American public,” Mehrens added.
The 11th-hour deal will reduce the defense sequester by 41 percent for 2014 ($22.4 billion) and by 17 percent ($9.2 billion) in 2015, and the non-defense sequester was reduced by 61 percent for 2014 ($22.4 billion) and by 25 percent in 2015 ($9.2 billion).
The Senate is expected to consider it soon.
The deal also adds a new tax on airline tickets, and counts it as a spending cut, the ALG said.
Tucked into the package is $12.6 billion over 10 years from a fee of “$5.60 per one-way trip in air transportation or intrastate air transportation that originates at an airport in the United States."
That was somehow magically scored not as revenue, but as a spending cut, AGL reporter Robert Romano said.
"In what universe is that a spending cut?" he asked.
Rep. Adrian Smith voted no. He said the deal "doesn’t achieve enough real deficit reduction."
“The appropriations process is broken," Smith said. "More work is needed to truly move beyond the budget showdowns of the last several years. The debate over spending is not over. We must continue to pursue reforms to entitlement programs to ensure long-term solvency, and to simplify the tax code.”
House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) backed the deal. He called it “modest,” and blasted conservative groups that he said “came out opposed to it before they ever saw it.”
"But in their defense, the Ryan budget fraud is even worse after you take the time to read it," the ALG said.