Senate Democrats contend Republicans adding $1 trillion to deficit
Updated: 2:30 p.m.
A trio of Senate Democrats on Thursday argued that House Republicans are piling more than $1 trillion onto the federal deficit through a new rules package approved on the first day of the new Congress.
At a Capitol press conference, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) accused Republicans of "replacing pay-as-you-go with pretend-as-you-go," Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said the GOP is practicing "voodoo economics" and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Democrats "are calling [Republicans] on what they campaigned on."
Senate Democrats argue that the new House rules on budgeting contain broad exemptions that would result in ballooning the deficit over the next decade. Their $1 trillion figure is based on estimates that repealing the national health care law would up the deficit by $143 billion, extending the Bush-era tax cuts for upper-earners will cost $565 billion, permanently extending the $5 million estate tax exemption would cost $308 billion and a 20-percent gross income tax deduction for business would cost $50 billion.
House Republicans have pushed back against the health care repeal figure, arguing that estimates provided by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office are not accurate.
"We have listened to the American people," Boehner spokesperson Michael Steel said. "They want us to cut government spending and repeal ObamaCare to help grow our economy -- and we will. The question is whether Congressional Democrats will join us, or whether they will continue to ignore the people."
Reining in spending and reducing the deficit have been central planks in Republicans' platform as they retake the House majority. House Republicans have pledged to return federal spending to 2008 levels, although House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) recently acknowledged that Republicans have lowered their target to $60 billion from $85 billion in cuts for the rest of the fiscal year.
| January 6, 2011; 1:46 PM ET
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