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Boehner Plan Taking Shape

Speaker John Boehner on Monday will present his latest plan to raise the nation’s debt limit, one that will initially cut spending by $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years, slash entitlement spending and set up an October showdown over a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

According to a GOP aide familiar with the plan, the Ohio Republican will propose that in exchange for a $1 trillion immediate debt ceiling increase, Republicans will require a package of cuts to discretionary spending worth $1.2 trillion over the next decade.

The bill will also include caps on future spending and a “sequestration provision” that would force automatic cuts to spending if Congress and the administration do not meet those caps.

A joint committee would also be created with the mandate of identifying an additional $1.8 trillion in deficit reductions, which would include discretionary spending and entitlement programs. The committee’s recommendations would receive up-or-down votes in the House and Senate, and if enacted, the president would then have the authority to request an additional $1.6 trillion in debt ceiling authority early next year.

Boehner’s plan will also set up a debate this fall over a balanced budget amendment, which would take place sometime after Oct.1 but before the end of the year. According to the aide, delaying the vote until later in the fall will allow “people time to build sufficient support” to pass an amendment through both chambers.

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