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Help me crowdsource the Bill

Help me crowdsource the Bill

Here it is.

It’s 74 pages.  We’ve heard various explanations of “the deal.”  I have some views on the deal as explained, but I’d be interested in what readers find that may be at odds with what they’re hearing or at odds with the Boehner PowerPoint.

I plan on weighing in on the deal this morning, so your comments are appreciated.

Budget Control Act Amendment – Debt Ceiling Bill
Update: Thanks for the comments and links, they were really helpful. My new post — and position — is at Dog, Car, Debt Ceiling.


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[…] have read/skimmed the Budget deal as posted at legal Insurrection this morning a few thoughts: 1. I like that it is only 74 pages, nobody in congress has an excuse […]

The “Balanced Budget Amendment” could be anything at all.

Page 16-17 indicates a rise in discretionary spending of 15% from $1066 billion in 2014 to $1234 billion in 2021.

[…] see the same disastrous deficit-spending policies pursued.That is a neutral objective fact!UPDATE: Legal Insurrection has posted the entire bill and — mirabile dictu! — Da Tech Guy actually read through it./**/ […]

Page 17 changes “food stamp program” to “the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program”

page 17 defines “emergency”

4 CAPS.—It shall not be in order in the House of Represent5
atives or the Senate to consider any bill, joint resolution,
6 amendment, motion, or conference report that would cause
7 the discretionary spending limits as set forth in section
8 251 of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Con9
trol Act to be exceeded.’’”

    Aarradin in reply to Matthew144. | August 1, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    These clauses always amaze me. They must be fully aware that nothing one Congress does can bind a future Congress.

    Putting a clause in a bill that says ‘it shall not be in order…’ for a future Congress to even consider doing something is completely unenforceable – and they know it.

Page 27 Section 201 re vote on balanced budget amendment: ”
After September 30, 2011, and not later than Decem13
ber 31, 2011, the House of Representatives and Senate,
14 respectively, shall vote on passage of a joint resolution,
15 the title of which is as follows: ‘‘Joint resolution proposing
16 a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the
17 United States.’’.”

    Aarradin in reply to Matthew144. | August 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    If they actually do get to vote on this (don’t count on it), it will certainly fail and the socialists running the legacy media will choose not to report on it.

    So, we’ve gained nothing here.

    Worse, there’s no qualifications on what needs to be in the bill, or who will write it. What do you think Harry Reid’s first draft of legislation bearing that title would look like (assuming he ever lifts a finger to get it written)?

Page 31 Section 3101 “‘‘(1) $900 BILLION.—
10 ‘‘(A) CERTIFICATION.—If, not later than
11 December 31, 2011, the President submits a
12 written certification to Congress that the Presi13
dent has determined that the debt subject to
14 limit is within $100,000,000,000 of the limit in
15 section 3101(b) and that further borrowing is
16 required to meet existing commitments, the
17 Secretary of the Treasury may exercise author18
ity to borrow an additional $900,000,000,000,
19 subject to the enactment of a joint resolution of
20 disapproval enacted pursuant to this section.

The battle has been won. The conversation in Washington has changed from spending increases to spending cuts. Take the victory and move on to the next battle, 2012!

7 ‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—Except for the
8 $400,000,000,000 increase in the debt limit pro9
vided by subsection (a)(1)(A), the debt limit may not
10 be raised under this section if, within 50 calendar
11 days after the date on which Congress receives a
12 certification described in subsection (a)(1) or within
13 15 calendar days after Congress receives the certifi14
cation described in subsection (a)(2) (regardless of
15 whether Congress is in session), there is enacted into
16 law a joint resolution disapproving the President’s
17 exercise of authority with respect to such additional
18 amount.”

[…] Legal Insurrection – Boehner is lying, help me prove it by crowdsourcing the debt ceiling bill.  I paraphrased. […]

Obpopulus, conversations about cuts isn’t a victory. Actual cuts are.

I’m not a lawyer or a Congressman, so I’m finding the text above very hard to read. (But great to reference)

I think I’ve found the original XML,

Which is much easier to read over than the final bill format.

1) The agreement raises spending over the next ten years by $8.083 trillion (or more, depending on the reality of the decreases in spending). (Baseline increase of $9 trillion less $917 billion)
2) The agreement creates a twelve member joint committee to reduce the deficit by another $1.5 trillion over ten years which if successful would result in raising spending $6.583 trillion dollars (or more) over ten years. ($8.083 trillion less $1.5 trillion or $6.583 trillion)
3) The agreement “triggers automatic across-the-board cuts (“sequestration”). Same mechanism used in the 1997 Balanced Budget Agreement.” But Congress has numerous times rejected scheduled automatic reductions in doctors’ Medicare pay rates established in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, prompting the annual passage of additional spending that is so routine it has a nickname: the “Doc Fix.”

I haven’t read the bill but Ticker Guy says actually, it does contain implicit tax increases through the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and the FICA holiday:

Deconstructing the Revenue Side of the Debt-Ceiling Deal: Yes, There’s a Real Threat of Higher Taxes

August 1, 2011 by Dan Mitchell

“There appears to be nothing in the agreement to preclude the super-committee from meeting its $1.5 trillion target with tax revenue. The 2001 and 2003 tax legislation is not an option, but everything else is on the table (notwithstanding GOP claims that it is “impossible for Joint Committee to increase taxes”).

Daniel Mitchell, CATO Senior Fellow

From the White House:


“This Committee is Empowered Beyond Previous Bipartisan Attempts at Deficit Reduction: Any recommendation of the Committee would be given fast-track privilege in the House and Senate, assuring it of an up or down vote and preventing some from using procedural gimmicks to block action.

To Meet This Target, the Committee Will Consider Responsible Entitlement and Tax Reform. This means putting all the priorities of both parties on the table – including both entitlement reform and revenue-raising tax reform.”

Can this be right?

+$9 trillion Baseline increase over ten years
-$.917 trillion spending reduction (Part I, Budget Act)
=$8.083 trillion (subtotal) Baseline increase over ten years
+$1.5 trillion Budget Act Super Committee tax increase
=$9.583 baseline spending over ten years after passage of Budget Control Act

Please tell me I’m wrong.

I haven’t gone to the original, Higher Education Act of 1965, but is this saying that offering interest rate reductions for student loans is ONLY possible where one grants access to one’s bank account (or an account) to be “electronically debited”?

I wonder how that bit was scored. . . .

It may be only 74 pages, but how does one read and understand it without the other laws and acts it references? This is how they slide things by you – the devil is in the details they don’t detail in the bill you’re reading. This is why things have to change in Washington. As someone over on Big Government so succinctly said, the net result of our government is “Inefficiency layered over with cronyism in service of really bad ideas.”

I vote no.

I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me that they added $17 billion to Pell Grants.

Section 401(b)(7)(A)(iv) of the Higher Education Act
of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070a(b)(7)(A)(iv)) is amended—
(1) in subclause (II), by striking
‘‘$3,183,000,000’’ and inserting ‘‘$13,183,000,000’’;
(2) in subclause (III), by striking ‘‘$0’’ and in-
serting ‘‘$7,000,000,000’’.

Am I wrong?

CBO Analysis of August 1 Budget Control Act

Congressional Budget Office (CBO)

Advised my Tea Party rep this is a good deal for establishment pols but a bad deal for the country….PLEASE VOTE NO. No spending cuts and BIG tax increases are coming if enacted.

When a Cut is Not a Cut

“No plan under serious consideration cuts spending in the way you and I think about it. Instead, the “cuts” being discussed are illusory, and are not cuts from current amounts being spent, but cuts in projected spending increases. This is akin to a family “saving” $100,000 in expenses by deciding not to buy a Lamborghini, and instead getting a fully loaded Mercedes, when really their budget dictates that they need to stick with their perfectly serviceable Honda. But this is the type of math Washington uses to mask the incriminating truth about their unrepentant plundering of the American people.”


    Aarradin in reply to Viator. | August 1, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Exactly right.

    They’re reducing the rate of increase of spending, and calling it a ‘cut’. There are no actual reductions in spending.

    ‘Baseline’ spending is us over 40% since 2007. This bill solidifies current spending as baseline (remember, most of the increase was supposedly ‘temporary’ stimulus – it went up in the ‘stimulus’ bill and the ‘omnibus spending’ bill they passed in Obama’s first year).

    So, they start by assuming that the current 3.8 Trillion in annual spending is the new normal. Then ‘cut’ $1 Trillion in anticipated growth to that spending level, leaving an anticipated ‘growth’ in spending of roughly $8 Trillion over 10 years on top of the current base.

    So, yeah, we’re still in Thelma & Louise’s car heading straight for the Grand Canyon. Obama’s still at the wheel, with the pedal to the floor, and he won’t chance course. This bill, to him, is just a minor ‘bump on the road’, to borrow a phrase. We’re still going over a cliff, just slightly later than we would have otherwise.

I would say add… an amendment, of making the bush tax cuts permanent. While 0bama negates the chance of it being brought up again around the 2012 elections.

…his chances of winning are negated a lot futher…
as you can then just bring up casually that 0bama made the Bush tax cuts a permanent thing to the lefties….

infuriating and spoiling the Democrats chances in 2012
to seek the expiration on those…
…and to know 0bama made them permanent: he’ll be seen as 1000x worse than what bush did…

>.> they’d refuse to support him after that… pass the bill in the house with that inside… and let the democrats refuse it… and cause a default.

if they cause a default… 0bama’s chances are even less in 2012… and the democrats will face a repeat of 2010.

…I think there is little obama can do: a refuaal wouldn’t be so great with the alternative of default. is it?

Mark Buehner | August 2, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Ok, can we separate the increases in spending on entitlements (that aren’t being addressed in this bill and are largely demographically determined anyway) from the discretionary spending, particularly non-military? I understand that you cant get where you need to be without entitlement reform, but you really ought to start with the low hanging fruit.

The argument should be broken up like this and in this order- discretionary, taxes, entitlements. Each needs to be fought on its own ground.

One stupid question- are these real dollars or do we have to factor in inflation?