CBO confirms debt deal save $2.1 trillion - insurers must cover women’s preventive care, including birth control - Syria renew assult on Hama - Debt deal and defence spending - Fine print of debt deal

The Washington Post

Article 1

National, Political

CBO confirms debt deal would save at least $2.1 trillion

The Congressional Budget Office confirmed Monday that the debt-reduction deal struck by the White House and congressional leaders would cut deficits by at least $2.1 trillion over the next 10 years, if lawmakers approve the plan.

The independent budget analysts affirmed that the package contains up-front savings of $917 billion, the same level as initially proposed in legislation offered by House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) last week. And the CBO analysis credited President Obama and the congressional leaders with at least $1.2 trillion in savings for the follow-on work to be done by a special committee.


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Feeling optimistic that they have the votes for passage, House Republican leaders told Senate leaders Monday that the House will move first on the revised legislation. The House Rules Committee scheduled a 1 p.m. meeting to draft the debate plans, and aides suggested that the full House could consider the plan Monday evening. If it passes, the Senate would consider it late Monday or Tuesday.

The CBO released its study a day after Obama and congressional leaders sealed a deal to raise the federal debt limit that includes sharp spending cuts but no new taxes, breaking a partisan impasse that has driven the nation to the brink of a government default.

The agreement brings to an end a self-created crisis that has consumed Washington, rattled Wall Street, and shaken confidence in the American political system at home and abroad. The deal could clear Congress as soon as Monday night — barely 24 hours before Treasury officials have said they could begin running short of cash to pay the nation’s bills.

Passage of the agreement, however, remained far from certain in the House, where skeptical Republicans were just beginning to digest the details.

“This process has been messy. It’s taken far too long,” President Obama said in brief remarks at the White House Sunday night. “Nevertheless, ultimately, the leaders of both parties have found their way toward compromise, and I want to thank them for that.”

Obama said the agreement “will allow us to avoid default and end the crisis that Washington imposed on the rest of America. It ensures also that we will not face this same kind of crisis again in six months, or eight months, or 12 months. And it will begin to lift the cloud of debt and the cloud of uncertainty that hangs over our economy.”

In a floor speech Monday, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said, “I am not proud of the conflict we’ve had these last many months, but I am satisfied that we’ve been able to come together to find a solution.” He added: “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the next few days — both sides of the aisle — to pass this remarkable agreement, which will protect the long-term health of our economy and avert a default on our nation’s debt.”

Calling the deal a “great stride forward,” Reid said, “Today Congress has a unique opportunity and responsibility to show the world what we can achieve — not in spite of our divided government but because of it.”

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