ABC News' Sunlen Miller ( @sunlenmiller) reports:
As the House of Representatives heads into a votes tonight on the “Cut, Cap and Balance” plan to let the government borrow another $2.4 trillion after adoption of a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV., called the plan so “radical,” “restrictive” and “draconian” that it would not even pass the standards of George W Bush or Ronald Regan.
“This legislation that they're debating now in the house is so restrictive,” Reid said on the Senate floor today, “It’s so restrictive, not one year of either George W. Bush or Ronald Reagan administrations would meet its standards.”
The plan would cut total spending by $111 billion in FY 2012. The legislation would also cap total federal spending by creating a “glide path” that caps spending at 22.5 percent of GDP next year, and gradually decreases spending levels over 10 years levels until locking in at 19.9 percent of GDP in 2021 and beyond.
The legislation would require that Congress pass a Balanced Budget Amendment and it would need to be sent to the states for ratification before the president’s request for a debt limit increase is granted.
Reid said the amendment would impost “arbitrary reckless” budget caps, force cuts top Medicare, Social Security, and protect loopholes.
“The so-called Cut, Cap, and Balance does absolutely nothing to protect our economy from the kind of recession from which we're now beginning to recover. If the economy wasn't already in recession, experts say this legislation would quickly produce one.”
The plan is all but dead on arrival in the Democratically-controlled Senate. Prescient Obama has also promised a veto if it reaches his desk.
Senate Minority Leader McConnell, R-KY praised the House for taking up this plan, saying it is the “tough legislation” that the government needs.
“Those who support Cut, Cap and Balance that the House takes up today will be voting for getting our fiscal house in order and against an unsustainable status quo,” McConnell said on the Senate floor, “And those of us who have been calling for serious short- and long-term action to cut spending, rein in our debt and preserve entitlements congratulate those who support it.”
The House votes later tonight on the plan. The Senate will likely vote on the measure either Wednesday or Thursday but is not expected to pass.