Update: The Wonk Room has put together a short table comparing the President's plan to the House and Senate bills. Check it out below.
Update: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will make Republican appointments to the deficit commission.
CRFB decided to fact check the exchange between President Obama and Congressman Hensarling at the Republican retreat. Here is the transcript with our comments.
First Congressman Hensarling (emphasis added):
Yesterday, President Obama gave his first official State of the Union address, outlining his agenda for the rest of the year. We watched the speech closely (and even tweeted on it), and were impressed overall. Although President Obama argued that "jobs must be our number one focus in 2010," he paid particular attention to the deficit. As the President explained:
[The deficit] is a challenge that makes all others that much harder to solve.
Yesterday, CRFB President Maya MacGuineas had an op-ed in CNN calling President Obama's proposed non-security freeze A Good First Step. Here are some highlights:
President Obama will propose freezing "non-security" discretionary spending for the next three years (FY2011-13) when he unveils his new budget next week. It's a start. A small one, but a start. The president is using his bully pulpit to push for restrained spending. According to numerous leaks, the Obama plan will cap that spending at its current level of $447 billion, saving $15 billion next year and $250 billion over ten years. It's difficult to interpret how meaningful those numbers are until we can actually see the budget.
Yesterday -- citing CRFB's work -- The Stephen Dinan of Washington Times wrote that President Obama, in his first year, was more successful than President Bush in getting his spending cuts enacted. Several administration officials, including President Obama himself, have repeated this fact. According to the article:
President Obama has just proposed a fee on financial firms, stating his commitment “to recover every single dime the American people are owed.” The measure, called the Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee, will only apply to the largest firms with over $50 billion in assets. The White House expects it to raise $117 billion over 12 years and $90 billion over the next ten.
The House voted Wednesday to sustain President Obama's veto of a Continuing Resolution to keep the government funded. Huh? Confused? Why wasn't this front-page news Thursday morning? Because what looked important was simply a bit of budget cooperation between the Legislative and Executive branches of government.