Who got what?

A look at what the Democrats and Republicans wanted and what they got in the deal.

Jump to: Highlights of the deal

Democrats

Democrats sought:

  • An initial request by President Obama to raise the debt ceiling without conditions was quickly set aside.
  • A debt-limit increase large enough to provide the government borrowing power to pay bills through 2012.
  • No cuts to Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security benefits.
  • Reductions to military spending if domestic programs were to be cut.
  • A "balanced approach" that would include tax increases for upper-income earners along with spending cuts.

Democrats got:

  • A debt-limit increase large enough to provide the government borrowing power to pay bills through 2012.
  • A special congressional committee to consider broad deficit reduction can consider tax reform along with entitlement changes.
  • If the committee's recommendations are not adopted, half of the automatic spending cuts to follow would come from defense.
  • If the committee's recommendations are not adopted, programs for the poor, including Medicaid and Social Security, would be shielded from the automatic spending cuts to follow.

Democrats gave:

  • The deal includes immediate spending cuts of about $1 trillion but no tax increases.
  • If the special congressional committee's recommendations are not adopted, consequences include spending cuts but no tax increases.
  • If the special committee's recommendations are not adopted, Medicare provider payments are not shielded from the automatic spending cuts to follow.


Democrats

Republicans sought:

  • Spending cuts to match a debt-ceiling increase dollar for dollar.
  • No tax increases.
  • Limited cuts to defense.
  • Entitlement reform.
  • Congressional passage of a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution.
  • In recent days, a short-term increase in the debt ceiling that would require further spending reductions before the limit could be raised in the spring.

Republicans got:

  • No tax increases.
  • $1 trillion in cuts to discretionary spending over the next 10 years.
  • A special congressional committee to consider broader deficit reduction can consider entitlement changes along with tax reform.
  • The debt-ceiling increase will be matched dollar for dollar in deficit reduction, through adoption of the work of a new congressional fiscal committee or through automatic spending cuts that will occur if the committee's recommendations are not adopted.
  • If the committee's recommendations are not adopted, half of the automatic spending cuts to follow would come from domestic programs.

Republicans gave:

  • The immediate deal includes no entitlement reform.
  • The immediate spending are cuts less than the GOP had sought.
  • The special congressional committee could consider tax reform.
  • If the special congressional committee's recommendations are not adopted, half of the automatic spending cuts to follow would come from defense.

Highlights of the deal

Below are some details of the compromise plan to raise the debt ceiling announced Sunday night by President Obama and congressional leaders.

Debt-ceiling increases

Debt Ceiling

Allows the debt ceiling to rise by as much as $2.4 trillion, giving the government borrowing power into 2013. Includes about $400 billion immediately, and the rest subject to a congressional votes of disapproval in coming months. The future increases would be assured unless they were rejected by two-thirds of Congress.

Discretionary spending

Discretionary spending

About $1 trillion in savings over 10 years from discretionary caps. Does not assume savings from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Tax increases

None in the immediate deal.

Special committee to identify additional savings

Special committee

Joint bipartisan committee of 12 lawmakers to report deficit-reduction legislation by Thanksgiving.

Mandate: Make recommendations to meaningfully improve short- and long-term fiscal imbalance.

Goal: Cut deficit to match dollar for dollar future increases in the debt ceiling, with a goal of $1.5 trillion to match future debt-ceiling increases.

Recommendations are guaranteed to receive an up-or-down vote under an expedited parliamentary process.

Enforcement mechanisms

Enforcement

If the congressional committee fails to result in approval of at least $1.2 trillion in defict reduction, automatic across-the-board cuts of $1.2 trillion would be enacted in agency budgets, split half and half between domestic programs and defense. Programs for the poor, including Medicaid and Social Security, would be exempted. But Medicare payments to providers could be hit.

Balanced-budget amendment

Balanced-budget amendment

A vote would be held on a balanced-budget amendment to the constitution, but the deal would not require that the amendment receive the two-thirds vote necessary to send the amendment to the states for ratification.

Related content: Analysis of the debt-ceiling negotiations from Ezra Klein
Photos: Deal reached on the debt ceiling

GRAPHIC: Rosalind S. Helderman, Lori Montgomery, Pam Tobey and Laura Stanton - The Washington Post.
Published Aug. 1, 2011.