Senators Propose Rigid Spending Cap

ANDREW TAYLOR | Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – Social Security, Medicare and virtually every other federal program would face the budget ax under legislation unveiled in the Senate that seeks to force Congress to cut spending dramatically over the coming decade.

The bill, co-sponsored by Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill and Tennessee Republican Bob Corker, would phase in a federal spending cap of slightly more than 20 percent of the size of the economy. McCaskill and Corker say that would wring almost $8 trillion from the budget over the coming 10 years.

The legislation doesn't actually propose cuts but instead sets spending caps and enforces them with the threat of automatic, across-the-board spending cuts. The idea is that the threat of such a meat-ax approach would force lawmakers to make more thoughtful cuts.

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