These spending cuts will alienate the US from China, Murray said. “House Republicans aren’t just proposing a one-year cut [research and development], diplomacy, workforce programs, essentially everything that keeps us competitive,” Murray said. “House Republicans are also demanding spending caps that will tie our hands and lock in even more cuts over the next decade.”
The US Chamber of Commerce outlined some potential midterm options in a memo to members on Friday. For example, instead of cuts in the fiscal 2024 allocation, negotiators may agree to freeze the level of the current year, and then allow the future growth of the inflation rate. That would cut agency budgets by $923 billion below the Congressional Budget Office’s baseline forecast, wrote Neil Bradley, the chamber’s chief policy officer.
But there is also a dispute over which baseline to use, according to sources familiar with the talks. Democrats are floating using Biden’s budget as a baseline, which would produce more savings on paper if negotiators agree to spending caps as the numbers start to get higher. But Republicans say at a minimum they should use the CBO’s baseline, which assumes spending will grow annually at the rate of inflation.
Then there’s what to do with work requirements: Republicans want to save $120 billion through fiscal 2033, mostly through new rules governing the availability of Medicaid assistance. Biden and Democrats have appeared opposed to that provision, though they are not happy with small cuts to food stamps.
“I’m not here to take food away from starving children, and that’s exactly what this proposal will do; a proposal that would make Scrooge blush,” Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., said in a statement Monday.