CRFB Releases and Events
It is now three weeks and counting until the start of FY 2014, when lawmakers will have to pass a bill funding the government or incur a shutdown. With the two chambers $91 billion apart on funding levels, they have some work to do in the next few weeks -- and perhaps in the coming months -- to find a level they are both comfortable with for the year. And with Congress only in session for nine legislative days before the end of the month, they will have to work quickly.
With Congress returning to DC, eyes are turning towards the fiscal speed bumps that they will face in the fall: funding the government, raising the debt limit, and dealing with the sequester. With the long-term fiscal situation still unsustainable, it is important that lawmakers use these speed bumps as an opportunity to put our debt on a downward path as a share of GDP.
Last week, we noted that it was the 78th birthday of the Social Security program, but cautioned that reform was needed before we could count on another 78 years of sustainability.
Update: The video has now been posted.
Earlier today, CRFB took a look at two of the biggest "fiscal speed bumps" remaining for the year, the exhaustion of extraordinary measures to advert the debt ceiling and the expiration of the continuing resolution funding the government, as well as how to deal with the ongoing sequester. But these are not the only speed bumps on the horizon.
On May 19, the debt ceiling was reinstated as the Treasury Department began to use extraordinary measures to prevent running up against the debt limit. Extraordinary measures are expected to be exhausted sometime this fall, also when the current continuing resolution (CR) funding the government is due to expire. In addition, both parties are looking to alter the sequester in some form for future years and will have to figure out what to do with it then.
On Friday, the Social Security and Medicare Trustees will issue their latest report, showing the finances of the two programs and their related trust funds over the next 75 years. The following Tuesday, June 4 at 8 AM Eastern time, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the Mercatus Center, and Third Way will hold an event discussing the implications of the report for the future of Social Security.
In February, we wrote the paper "Our Debt Problems Are Far From Solved," laying out the case for putting debt on a clear downward path as a percent of GDP with $2.4 trillion of additional savings. CBO's improved budget projections have prompted a new round of discussion of what should be the right direction for the budget.