The White House has offered an assortment of spending cuts and changes to mandatory programs for Democratic negotiators to consider as part of finalizing a two-year spending agreement and a raise of the debt ceiling, Roll Call reported Friday.
The proposed offsets in exchange for raising mandatory caps in the fiscal 2020 and fiscal 2021 budgets would include $574 billion taken from the administration’s FY 2020 budget request, and another option to save $516 billion in “structural reforms” that would extend current discretionary spending limits through FY 2023, according to the report.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, serving as one of the administration’s chief negotiators in talks that extended through the weekend, said last week the White House seeks at least $150 billion in discretionary savings in a final agreement. A senior aide, according to the Roll Call report, described the number as a “floor.”
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) echoed Thursday that the administration’s proposed offsets are a major obstacle in negotiations for a long-term deal.
“That’s what we’re discussing. We’re close, and I think there’s a desire to come to an agreement from all of us,” Schumer said, according to the report.
A comprehensive agreement that would lift the debt limit and set fiscal 2020 spending has stymied negotiators for months as they seek to avoid a potential government default as early as late August, and a partial government shutdown and mandatory cuts on Oct. 1.
If a spending deal is not reached before October, approximately $71 billion in across-the-board defense cuts would be initiated through sequestration, as On Base has reported.