While we continue to hope for a substantial budget deal that would address our long-term fiscal problems, it looks like a smaller deal is more likely. Replacing part of the sequestration with permanent long-term savings would represent progress, though more work will remain.
However, as CRFB President Maya MacGuineas wrote in zpolitics over the weekend, if lawmakers are looking toward a smaller deal, it becomes that much more that the avoid budget gimmicks and worsening the fiscal situation. Writes MacGuineas:
It's just a little over a week before the budget conference committee is supposed to present its recommendations to Congress. Former U.S. Comptroller and CRFB board member David Walker writes in The Hill that the deadline is also an opportunity we cannot afford to waste:
With Congress is in recess, it's likely we won't see a deal this week, but the December 13th deadline for the budget conference committee is fast approaching. Expectations for an agreement are mixed, but in an article in this weekends's U.S.
Though the government shutdown ended a little over a month ago, its effects still linger on. In an editorial published today in The Hill, former Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) reviews the aftermath of the shutdown and debt ceiling debacle, to try and determine what it accomplished.
The budget conference committee is holding its second hearing this morning as the conferees continue to try and work out a compromise between the House and Senate budgets. Today, CRFB board member and former Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) and former Senator Judd Gregg, both who served as Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, stress in an article in The Hill the importance of using this opportunity to act and resolve our open budget questions.
Today was the first meeting of the budget conference committee negotiating over this year's discretionary spending levels. Although the first meeting was devoted to opening statements from the 29 lawmakers, it sets the tone for the debate over the next month and a half.
It is difficult to believe that nearly two weeks ago, our country was on the brink of default, the shutdown dragged on, and lawmakers seemed unable to come to any sort of compromise. After narrowly avoiding fiscal disaster, many may be ready to put the budget on the back shelf.
Yesterday, CRFB board member and former Senate Budget Committee argued in the Washington Post that ultimately, additional revenue through comprehensive tax reform will be needed along with entitlement reforms to put the budget on a sustainable path.
The shutdown may be over and fears of a default adverted for now, but the reality remains that we still haven't made any progress on our debt problem. CRFB President Maya MacGuineas writes in zpolitics that with a few months before we approach the next fiscal hurdles, lawmakers should get busy and begin to work toward a permanent solution.