White House planning to send Pelosi list of spending cuts

Trump administration proposing $574bn in savings to offset the costs of budget cap deal

US representative Nancy Pelosi talks to president Donald Trump in the Oval Office.

US representative Nancy Pelosi talks to president Donald Trump in the Oval Office.

 

The White House late Thursday is planning to send House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a proposed list of spending cuts it says can be used to seal a debt ceiling deal, according to two people familiar with the proposal.

The Trump administration is proposing $574 billion in savings options it suggests using to offset the costs of a two-year budget cap agreement that congressional leaders want to attach to a long-term debt ceiling increase.

The offer also includes a proposal to extend budget caps for two extra years after they expire in 2021 in order to save $516 billion.

The offer comes as Pelosi and treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin have said they are close to an agreement.

The White House is seeking to pay for at least $150 billion of the cost for raising the caps and the next step would be for Pelosi to accept or reject items on the list of proposed cuts.

Roughly half of the proposals are cuts and the others come from reforms, both people said. There are no revenue or tax increases on the list.

Pelosi, who’s pushing to strike a deal by the end of the week, earlier Thursday expressed optimism about her negotiations with Mnuchin. She wants to file a bill this week to set up House votes next week on the package.

“Nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to, but we are on our way,” the California Democrat told reporters at the US Capitol. “We have a path.”

The Treasury Department has been using so-called extraordinary measures to meet debt obligations since March 2nd, when the US reached its $22 trillion limit on borrowing.

Mnuchin has said that under one of the Treasury Department’s most conservative estimates, the US will be at risk of defaulting on payment obligations in early September – before lawmakers are scheduled to return from their summer recess on September 9th. - Bloomberg