By Vicki Needham - 11/29/10 10:59 PM EST
"It's going to be the president's own budget director who is going to identify the funds that will pay for this," he said. "My colleagues on the other side are saying, 'We can't trust that process.' If we can't solve this problem and pay for it, how do we ever solve the multitrillion dollar deficit that this country is facing?"
Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) has proposed an alternative amendment that isn't paid for and would add to deficit, but at the same time it lower the cost of repealing healthcare reform, a Republican priority.
"These days, finding a $19 billion offset that can get 67 votes is pretty close to impossible," Baucus said Monday on the floor. "We have spending much of this year haggling over one offset or another. My amendment tries to avoid that."
Baucus criticized the Johanns amendment for including a cut of $39 billion in appropriated funds, to be determined by OMB.
The Joint Tax Committee estimates that the tax law changes in the Johanns amendment would cost about $22 billion, Baucus said.
The Johanns amendment "would give the unelected Director of OMB unprecedented authority to slash spending, all on his own," and it "would thus abdicate Congress’s responsibility over the budget."