The debt ceiling deal between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden would amount to, if passed and enacted into law, the largest deficit reduction bill in American history, an official estimate forthcoming from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) will show.
Preliminary numbers from the CBO, available on Monday ahead of a formal estimate expected to be released soon, show the deal would amount to more than $2.12 trillion in spending cuts.
“Our preliminary CBO score shows that the 6 year top lines we set in this bill would amount to the largest deficit reduction bill in history, over $2.12 trillion,” one House GOP leadership aide told Breitbart News.
That estimate, per Punchbowl News which published an alert on Monday announcing that, includes the two years of locked-in spending caps and four more years of optional spending caps. While those remaining four years are not statutorily locked-in in this deal, if Republicans maintain control of at least one chamber of Congress—they have the House right now, a slim majority they hope to expand in November 2024, and they have a decent shot at retaking the Senate in the next election too—they can lock these in and push for more easily.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called the debt plan a major victory for Republicans and urged House GOP members to vote for the bill.
“Republicans win on the debt ceiling: Here’s why House GOP should support deal,” was the headline of a Gingrich op-ed on Fox News touting the plan.
“When you hear complaints from some on the right, remember they are arguing from a mythical belief. Somehow, they think defeating this agreement would improve things. They could hardly be more wrong,” Gingrich wrote.
Gingrich framed this deal as a “first step” toward reorienting the dynamic between Congress and the president with spending and budgets.
“I emphasize it’s a first step because that is what I lived through in 1995 in our first year as a Republican House majority (the first in 40 years),” Gingrich wrote. “Step by step, we got budget changes, moved from welfare to work, cut taxes, and reduced bureaucratic regulatory overkill. We launched a generation of prosperity built upon the foundations that President Ronald Reagan created in the 1980s.”
Given the fact that Democrats particularly Biden originally refused to negotiate at all—for the entire year until a few weeks ago—the fact that what ended up materializing amounts to the biggest deficit reduction plan that would ever be passed in U.S. history is nothing short of a remarkable accomplishment for McCarthy and House Republicans especially given their slim majority in the House. What’s more, while some on the right are criticizing the deal, that criticism was a given not a variable since several House Freedom Caucus aligned members explicitly made clear they would not support anything less than the plan House Republicans passed earlier in the spring. But everyone—including them—understood when that plan passed that it was a negotiating ploy to help McCarthy’s hand and force Biden to the table.
An outside GOP group aligned with House GOP leadership has launched an aggressive ad campaign this week to sell the deal, too, with a massive focus on conservative media including Breitbart News, Daily Caller, Fox News, and talk radio.
The ads from American Action Network focus on how McCarthy forced Biden’s hand in the negotiations, and highlight several of the wins Republicans were able to secure in the deal:
The ad has received more than two million views on YouTube as of Monday morning, and is expected to get far higher than that as it hits heavy rotation across the conservative media. This ad is the latest in a series of ads and other actions the group has taken throughout this debt fight, also including polling data and other messaging tools for Republicans.
The official CBO estimates on top-line spending do not account for several other elements of the debt deal that Republicans secured as victories as well, including work requirements on certain welfare benefits or PayGo provisions or the clawing back of unspent COVID relief funds.