Republicans Push Back on "Irrelevant" Reports of Smaller-than-Expected CR Cuts

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 14 2011 10:22 AM

Republicans Push Back on "Irrelevant" Reports of Smaller-than-Expected CR Cuts

On Friday night, 28 Republicans voted against the budget deal. Over the weekend and this week, there's been some obvious softness in Republican support for the deal. The reaction is based on facts. On Tuesday, the Washington Post's Philip Rucker discovered that some of the $38.5 billion "cuts" were made possible by accounting gimmicks, like not skimming off of the Crime Victims' Fund. Yesterday, the Associated Press crunched the CBO score of the compromise and found that the cuts only amounted to $353 million in cuts to outlays.

What's the difference between the numbers? There's a difference between budget authority and outlays. The budget authority belongs to Congress; it's the money they appropriate to the government. Outlays are how the government spends the money.

Advertisement

That's not complicated, but most things that sound bad to voters are pretty uncomplicated. There's been some scrambling today to respond to this. Speaker Boehner took to Twitter to defend the deal ("These are real cuts, though this agreement isn’t perfect.") In a statement, House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rodgers went a little further.

"Different people will manipulate numbers in a million different ways," said Rodgers, who helped announce the deal on Friday, and whose committee worked out the particulars. "But the fact remains that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office scored this bill as saving nearly $40 billion from last year’s levels - starting us on a path to save hundreds of billions more in the years to come. Twisting irrelevant reports and using invalid comparisons won’t change that fact."

The Appropriations Committee has prepared and provided fact sheets on the difference between the two numbers. But there's still drama here -- it's not like every freshman Republican is on the same page.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Buy a Small Business
Oct. 1 2014 11:48 PM Inking the Deal Why tattoo parlors are a great small-business bet.
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?