As we know, there are dozens of ways to move decimal points and calculate budget and spending numbers. But here is a new one. Freshman Rep. Tim Huelskamp, a Republican from Kansas, says the Continuing Resolution the House is expected to vote on tomorrow will only save $352 million, compared to the $38.5 billion that the House GOP leadership says.
Here's how he arrives at that figure:
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), total outlays for the original CR (which ran from October 1, 2010 through March 4, 2011) were $1.289483 trillion.
But when you compare that figure under the new CR, set to be voted on tomorrow in the House, the total outlays come in at $1.289131 trillion.
By that measure of comparison, the savings between what they spent in the first CR, which was law until March 4, and the new CR, which could prospectively become law later this week for the rest of the fiscal year, is only $352 million.
Huelskamp describes this as "phantom savings."
Ironically, according to Huelskamp, the figure of outlays in the $61 billion CR that the House approved in mid-February come in at $1.280260 Trillion.
Here's why: some of the money comes in the form of rescissions (Congress cutting money already allocated), highway money, military construction and census dollars that weren't targeted to be used anyway. So Huelskamp argues that the problem is that the cuts don't amount to very much.
• Here's the takeaway:
Huelskamp was a no on the interim CR Saturday morning and is expected to be a no tomorrow.
This is one more example of the many freshmen GOP members with tea party backing who are gravely concerned about this bill and are now getting skittish thinking of voting no.