Last week, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced his conservative alternative to the Biden-McCarthy debt deal. This alternative was offered as an amendment to the so-called “Fiscal Responsibility Act” deal and would have replaced existing language with responsible reforms and necessary cuts. The Senate voted on Dr. Paul’s amendment during a vote series Thursday night. The final vote tally was 21-75.
Of the nearly two dozen Republican Senators to vote against the amendment include notable names like Lindsey Graham (SC), Mitt Romney (UT), Tom Cotton (AR), Josh Hawley (MO) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY).
“Sixty percent of Americans say Congress should only raise the nation’s debt ceiling if it cuts spending at the same time. I would guess the Americans answering that poll meant real cuts in spending, not an annual increase of one percent above already bloated levels of COVID-19 spending,” said Dr. Paul. “Bold actions must be taken to defeat our mounting national debt, and my conservative alternative to the Biden-McCarthy deal gives us a real opportunity to get our fiscal house in order.”
Dr. Paul’s amendment places caps on total on-budget outlays that decrease by 5 percent each year which are enforceable by sequester. This amendment does not touch Social Security and leaves Congress full discretion on which accounts to cut. The plan:
- Replaces the blanket two-year suspension of the debt ceiling with a $500 billion increase and replaces caps on discretionary spending with caps on total on-budget spending.
- Reduces spending by $303 billion in the first year, bringing on-budget outlays from $5.1 trillion down to $4.8 trillion.
- Triggers automatic cuts through sequester if the government continues to spend at excessive levels.
- Makes no specific policy assumptions –The budget caps total on-budget spending at levels necessary to balance and then calls on Congress to make the changes needed to achieve that objective.
The table below outlines the caps Dr. Paul’s amendment would set.
|Total On-Budget Spending Caps (in billions)|
|Fiscal Year||Paul Amendment Caps|