CBO: Budget pact not fully offset

The budget deal hammered out by congressional leaders and the White House is not fully offset, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

The independent scorekeeper of policy proposals determined Tuesday that the two-year budget pact, which hikes spending by a combined $80 billion over the next two years, comes up $14 billion short in policy proposals to offset that cost.

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CBO’s analysis determined that, all told, the new deal would increase budget authorization by $89.7 billion. But when adding up the host of policy changes aimed at cutting costs and raising revenue, the CBO only came up with $75.7 billion.

The budget pact included a host of policy tweaks aimed at offsetting the increase spending authorized across defense and nondefense programs. For example, the package would make changes to pension programs, cut returns to crop insurers, and sell off portions of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and the government’s share of the wireless spectrum to help offset the costs.

But CBO analyses that policymakers’ efforts to offset the higher budget caps could bolster conservative opposition to the deal. Conservative lawmakers were already grumbling about the package, bristling at the fact it was hammered out in private by top leaders in Congress and the White House, with little to no input from members.

The conservative groups Heritage Action and Club for Growth jointly announced opposition to the deal earlier Tuesday.