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Boehner bill's deficit reduction lands short of goal

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House Speaker John A. Boehner’s debt limit bill reduces future spending by $850 billion from current levels, according to the Congressional Budget Office — far short of the $1.1 trillion he has claimed.

The Ohio Republican has called for any increase in the debt to be matched dollar-for-dollar by reductions in projected spending, but the CBO’s score signals his bill does not match the $900 billion increase his bill allows.

CBO analysts said that Mr. Boehner’s bill does reduce cut $1.1 trillion when compared to where spending levels were in January — but that was before Congress and the president agreed to a 2011 spending bill that cut tens of billions of dollars.

The CBO said Mr. Boehner’s office requested that additional calculation because his “staff indicated that this comparison would be useful.”

Compared to current levels, the CBO said the Boehner proposal reduces future discretionary spending by $695 billion and reduces mandatory spending by $20 billion over 10 years. Those savings mean the government would pay $135 billion less in projected interest costs, which is how CBO reached the $850 billion total.

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