House of Representatives
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, has released an alternative budget on behalf of House Democrats, "Jobs, Growth, and a Stronger Future." His budget succeeds in putting debt on a slight downward path with $1.8 trillion of savings compared to current law, or $2.3 trillion compared to the CRFB Realistic baseline.
Trying to determine the actual level of savings in budget proposals can be confusing, as there is no single agreed-upon set of baseline assumptions to follow. Both Congressman Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Murray (D-WA) use their own baselines from which to measure savings, which differ in a couple ways from current law or CRFB Realistic.
The Bipartisan Policy Center has a detailed look at the Ryan budget, comparing it on various budget metrics to the most recent Debt Reduction Task Force plan ("Domenici-Rivlin 2.0"). The numbers show not only overall spending, revenue, deficits, and debt numbers but also how spending in different parts of the budget compares.
Budget season is underway! House Budget Committee Chairman kicked off the budget resolution exchange by releasing his FY 2014 budget "The Path to Prosperity." As has been the case over the past few years, Ryan has shown an aggressive spending-side approach to getting debt and deficits under control. Let's take a look.
With the new expectation that the House budget resolution will reach balance in 10 years -- more than 15 years earlier than was projected last year -- there has been much speculation about how House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) will modify last year's budget to reach the more aggressive target.
The Hill is reporting that the House Ways and Means Committee will take the next step in creating a broad tax reform plan by announcing 11 separate working groups on different components of reform. The working groups would be composed of members of both parties and will be used to lay the groundwork in these different areas, not necessarily making recommendations.
The 11 working groups would cover the following topics:
The House is pressing forward this week on debt ceiling legislation that contains a few different moving parts. The bill would buy lawmakers some more time to deal with it but would not be a full solution to avoiding breaching the debt limit.
In short, the bill would do the following:
Yesterday, Rep. Dennis A. Ross (R-FL) introduced H.R. 243, otherwise cited as the Bowles-Simpson Plan of Lowering America's Debt (BOLD) Act, a bill that contains some policies found in the Simpson-Bowles plan. The BOLD Act includes some spending cuts -- such as reducing Congressional and White House expenditures by 15%, prohibiting earmarks, reducing federal travel, and imposing an additional 3-year pay freeze on federal workers and DOD civilians -- that could be undertaken to reduce the debt.
In a bipartisan op-ed in the Chicago Tribune, Reps. Robert Dold (R-IL) and Daniel Lupinski (D-IL) endorse a two-part process that avoids the fiscal cliff and sets up a process for Congress to enact a fiscal plan next year.
President Obama met with Congressional leaders last Friday to begin working toward a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. Reportedly, the talks had an optimistic tone, and leaders seem to be willing to reconcile their differences in the coming months. However, this was not the only development that took place at the end of last week.