This actually is good news. It gives Boehner a chance to reconfigure his plan to give confidence that there really will be $1.2 trillion in cuts.
Via National Journal, the CBO scored the plan as written at only $850 billion in savings:
House Speaker John Boehner’s debt-ceiling plan would cut $150 billion less from the deficit than he intended, according to estimates released by the Congressional Budget Office late on Tuesday.
The CBO report presented an added obstacle for House Republicans and Boehner in particular, to secure the votes for passage because it undermined leadership’s assertion that Boehner’s proposal would trim the deficit by $1 trillion over 10 years when CBO found it would only do so by $850 billion.
The report immediately sent GOP leadership aides scrambling to find a way to tinker with their proposal ahead of an anticipated Wednesday vote. “We promised that we will cut spending more than we increase the debt limit—with no tax hikes—and we will keep that promise,” said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel. “As we speak, congressional staff are looking at options to rewrite the legislation to meet our pledge.”
A GOP source familiar with the options on the table said it was possible the vote could be postponed. Also under consideration is finding additional deficit-reduction measures or lowering the amount by which Boehner’s proposal would increase the debt ceiling, currently at $900 billion, to a number lower than the $850 billion deficit cut projected by CBO. Lowering the debt-ceiling figure would maintain the GOP pledge to enact spending cuts in excess of the debt increase.