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GOP rep sounds off on Republican deficit plan during budget markup

GOP rep sounds off on Republican deficit plan during budget markup
© Greg Nash

Republican lawmaker Rep. Tom McClintockThomas (Tom) Milller McClintockHouse committee votes to relax Endangered Species Act Election Countdown: Takeaways from too-close-to-call Ohio special election | Trump endorsements cement power but come with risks | GOP leader's race now rated as 'toss-up' | Record numbers of women nominated | Latino candidates get prominent role in 2020 GOP scrambles to regain fiscal credibility with House budget MORE (Calif.) lashed out at the House GOP's budget plan for reducing the deficit, saying it is more talk than action.

The plan, released Tuesday, outlines $5.4 trillion in mandatory spending cuts over a decade, but only requires authorizing committees to eliminate a small fraction of that — $302 billion — through a process called reconciliation.

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The rest of the savings in the plan were based on assumptions that Congress would be able to approve cost-cutting policies, such as repealing ObamaCare and making major changes to the Medicare and Medicaid programs. 

“Only $300 billion is in the actual reconciliation bill. So the remaining 95 percent of that $5.4 trillion is going to require action by future congresses because we just can’t bear to make those decisions this year,” an angered McClintock told a GOP budget staffer Wednesday during the first day of the budget’s mark up in the House Budget Committee

“The rest is happy thoughts and pixie dust,” he continued. “I find this very frustrating, simply because this a song we’ve song over and over again, and nothing happens.”

An analysis from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget drew similar conclusions. 

“While the budget resolution calls for $8.1 trillion of deficit reduction relative to CBO’s baseline, most of these savings come from rosy economic assumptions or unreconciled and often unrealistic spending cuts,” CRFB president Maya MacGuineas said in a statement. 

Earlier in the hearing, McClintock sparred with committee chairman Rep. Steve WomackStephen (Steve) Allen WomackBudget chairs press appropriators on veterans spending Senate chairman urges move to two-year budgetary process On The Money: Senate passes first 2019 spending bill | Trump hits Harley-Davidson in tariffs fight | Mnuchin rips report of investment restrictions | Justices side with American Express in antitrust case MORE (R-Ark.) about the committee rules, bristling that the committee was one member short of the necessary quorum to conduct business, and saying that it was “making even more of a mockery” of the process.

Womack broke out the rule book, agreed with McClintock, and the committee patiently waited for one more member to arrive before continuing.