July 13 (UPI) — The Congressional Budget Office released its evaluation of President Donald Trump‘s proposed federal budget, disputing administration predictions it would eliminate the federal deficit in 10 years.
The CBO, the nonpartisan scorekeepers who evaluate proposed legislation, said Trump’s budget would produce a $720 billion deficit in 2027, contrasting the White House budget office prediction the spending plan would put the country in the black after a decade.
The report did, however, project Trump’s budget would cut more than $4 trillion in government spending compared to current expectations.
Additionally, the CBO said there was no evidence the Trump budget would produce the robust 3 percent economic growth the administration predicted. Instead, the CBO estimated the U.S. economy would grow at more or less the same pace it is now, about 2 percent.
Over the course of a decade, the Trump administration predicted an additional $3.4 trillion in economic growth, versus the CBO analysis.
A White House spokesperson recognized the CBO projection that the Trump budget would ultimately still reduce the government deficit.
The CBO report comes as Republicans on Capitol Hill are preparing to draft a budget — a difficult task, even with Republicans controlling both the House and the Senate. The CBO analysis could make it harder for Republican leadership to put together a coalition of GOP moderates and spending hawks to agree on a package of spending cuts and tax reductions similar to the one Trump proposed.
If Republicans cannot agree among themselves, leadership would need to turn to Democrats in order to pass a spending plan similar to the stop-gap compromise struck in February, which funded the government through the end of September.
Democrats could opt to shun any budget compromise and leave it to Republicans to hammer out their differences. Doing so could be risky, however. Democrats have vowed to block Trump spending priorities, including a border wall and defunding of Planned Parenthood. Filibustering those elements could lead to a government shutdown if neither side backs down.
But if Democrats were to provide the votes necessary to pass a budget, it would give away a tactical advantage in trying to block other parts of the Republican agenda. Under Senate rules, Republicans can alter budget bills using a process known as reconciliation, which requires only a simple majority to pass — meaning Democrats would not be able to filibuster. Republicans would likely use reconciliation to pass significant tax cuts Democrats oppose, but that can only happen if Republicans are able to pass the initial budget first.