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Congress: Adding $4 trillion to the deficit?

“Even as they hammer Democrats for running up record budget deficits, Senate Republicans are rolling out a plan to permanently extend an array of expiring tax breaks that would deprive the Treasury of more than $4 trillion over the next decade, nearly doubling projected deficits over that period unless dramatic spending cuts are made,” the Washington Post says. “The measure, introduced by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) this week, would permanently extend the George W. Bush-era income tax cuts that benefit virtually every U.S. taxpayer, rein in the alternative minimum tax and limit the estate tax to estates worth more than $5 million for individuals or $10 million for couples.”

More: “Aides to McConnell said they have yet to receive a cost estimate for the measure. But the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office recently forecast that a similar, slightly more expensive package that includes a full repeal of the estate tax would force the nation to borrow an additional $3.9 trillion over the next decade and increase interest payments on the national debt by $950 billion. That's more than four times the projected deficit impact of President Obama's health-care overhaul and stimulus package combined.”

"Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.) has the endorsement of conservative stalwart Sen. Tom Coburn (Okla.) to become the next vice chairman of the Senate Republican Conference -- and that might be the crucial vote he needs to secure the post," Roll Call writes. "Barrasso on Tuesday declined to discuss his plans to succeed Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) as vice chairman, saying he was focused on doing his job as a Senator and helping to elect more Republicans on Nov. 2."