Conrad budget cuts $800B from Defense

The secret Senate Democratic budget resolution drafted by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and shared with the White House relies heavily on cuts to the Pentagon which would see its budget slashed by more than $800 billion over 10 years, according to sources.

Overall security spending is cut by $886 billion in the budget which Senate leadership is still mulling making public. Under law the Senate was to have agreed on a budget by April 15.

This compares to $178 billion in security cuts in the House-passed budget resolution, only $78 billion of which is not reinvested in the defense budget. President Obama in his April deficit reduction framework called for $400 billion in security cuts over 12 years.


The plan has been signed off on by budget committee Democrats but some in the full caucus like Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) said cannot support it because it contains as many tax increases as it does spending cuts.  Conrad outlined the plan to President Obama in a meeting on Friday according to a source familiar with the meeting.

The budget ends Bush era tax rates for families making over $1 million per year and for individuals making over $500,000 per year. It also recommends ending tax expenditures but leaves it up to the Senate Finance Committee to decide which tax breaks to end, including the popular home mortgage interest deduction.

The budget cuts $350 billion from domestic programs over ten years and counts $600 billion from reduced interest on the national debt.

Social Security is untouched, while $80 billion is cut from other entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

The budget reaches primary balance by 2014 and achieves over $4 trillion in deficit reduction.

Senate Democrats want the White House to weigh the plan as an alternative to a possible compromise emerging out of this weekend's budget summit which could have deeper cuts to entitlements, including Social Security, and which would have less revenue increases.