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Congress: Boehner's CBO setback

“House Republicans delayed a vote on Boehner’s bill, which had been set for Wednesday, after congressional budget analysts dealt the legislation a potentially devastating setback by saying it would save far less over the next decade than the $1.2 trillion advertised. The Congressional Budget Office projected that the spending cuts would save only about $850 billion over that period,” the Washington Post writes. “The news from the CBO alarmed conservatives, who were already balking at what they considered timid spending reductions. It also meant Boehner’s bill would not meet his own demand that the cuts exceed the size of the $900 billion debt-limit increase.”

The New York Times: “The pushback on the bill was the latest chaotic twist in the fiscal fracas on Capitol Hill, as the clock ticked closer to Aug. 2, when the Obama administration has warned that the nation risks defaulting on its bills. The scramble to come up with a plan that could be put to a vote, now moved from Wednesday to Thursday, represents a test of Speaker John A. Boehner’s ability to lead his restive caucus. The expected showdown over the legislation is the culmination of months of efforts by Tea Party-allied freshmen and fellow conservatives to demand a fundamentally smaller government in exchange for raising the federal borrowing limit.”

The Boston Globe adds, “Boehner encountered strong resistance from within his own caucus all day yesterday, as many conservative Republicans insisted his bill on the government’s debt ceiling did not cut deeply enough into federal programs. They vowed to oppose the legislation when it comes up for a vote, now possibly tomorrow. Also, President Obama threatened to veto Boehner’s measure, further diminishing its prospects. Adding to Boehner’s problems was a report by congressional analysts saying his plan would create $850 billion in savings, not the $1.2 trillion he had projected.”

The Hill: “Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is heading into a critical House vote on his deficit-reduction plan, at risk of losing significant leverage in the GOP’s drag-out fight with the White House over raising the $14.3 trillion debt limit.”

The real problem is there’s no moderate middle left: “The Republican Party has, in fact, moved away from its moderate wing in recent years, according to national polls, resulting in a growing chasm between its political leaders and a significant group of disenchanted voters,” the Boston Globe says.

The New York Post’s headline on Oregon Democrat David Wu’s resignation: “Wu pulls a Weiner.”

Missouri Republican Congressman Billy Long, who likened the debt crisis to Amy Winehouse’s death apologized to her family yesterday.

And: “Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) was arrested Tuesday outside the White House, during a protest against immigrant deportation, a spokesman confirmed,” The Hill reports.