Democrats Proposing Spending Caps That Break Limits Set In Debt Deal


According to Senate Democrats, most notably alleged “budget hawk” Kent Conrad, the Budget Control Act (the “debt deal” that raised the debt ceiling while setting spending caps and creating the “super committee) was just as good as a normal budget. Better even, they claim, which is why Congress doesn’t need to pass a budget.

Except, by looking at the new spending proposals Democrats are putting forward, it appears as though they’re throwing the BCA under the bus:

Last summer, as part of the agreement that resulted in raising the federal government’s debt limit, Congress passed the Budget Control Act, which set spending caps for future years. These spending caps represented “cuts” in the Washington sense; that is, spending was allowed to increase, but not as fast as might otherwise have been projected. When it has suited their purposes, the Democrats have been champions of the Budget Control Act. Thus when House Republicans adopted a budget that would have spent less than the maximums under the BCA, Democrats alleged that the budget “violated” the Act. They thus turned the Budget Control Act on its head, pretending that the maximum spending levels agreed on in the Act–caps–were actually minimums.

Now, with no fanfare and no press coverage, the Democrats are attempting to negate–effectively, to repeal–the Budget Control Act by adopting spending bills that exceed its limits. Harry Reid and his Senate confederates have offered a bill to increase spending on the Post Office, S. 1789. The bill has been scored by the Congressional Budget Office as increasing the federal deficit by $34 billion, and no provision has been made to recoup that money somewhere else in the budget. (Of course, we don’t have a budget because the Democrats in the Senate won’t pass one. But spending could still be cut somewhere else.)

One almost gets the sense that Democrats aren’t really serious about budgeting and getting the deficits and national debt under control. It almost seems like all this maneuvering and posturing is just about the appearance of fiscal responsibility, while they quietly push for more and more deficit spending.

This is beyond ideology. This is to the point of recklessness. Whether you’re conservative or liberal or some other flavor of political philosophy, we should all agree that there should be a budget and that the government shouldn’t be spending more than it has.

Rob Port

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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