Sen. Toomey Offers A Budget Resolution

One day after Senate Budget Committee chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) released a budget resolution based on the Fiscal Commission plan, another Budget Committee member, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) released his own budget. Overall, his budget relies on savings from spending cuts to bring the debt down.

Sen. Conrad Proposes Fiscal Commission Budget

At a press conference today, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) put forward a budget resolution that his Committee will be marking up starting tomorrow, one that is based on the Fiscal Commission plan. He explained the logic in proposing this budget rather than a strictly Democratic proposal:

'Line' Items: Super Bowl Edition

Super Not So Duper – The word “super” has lost its luster lately. The failure of the Super Committee and the need for a super majority in the Senate to pass virtually anything have contributed to record-low approval ratings for Congress. Meanwhile, Super PACs are pouring unlimited funds into campaigns, resulting in even more negative advertising than usual and rising concerns that the political process is being distorted.

Another Proposal to Extend the Payroll Tax Cut and Other Policies

Finding a way to extend the payroll tax cut, along with the many other expiring provisions this year, continues to be a dominating issue for Congress as 2011 comes to an end this month. A bipartisan proposal that includes a one-year extension of the tax cut was introduced yesterday by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO).

Senate Working to Extend Payroll Tax Cut

Today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) unveiled another proposal for how to both extend and expand the payroll tax cuts and pay for them, building on the two proposals last week from Senate Republicans and Senate Democrats who both called for paying for any payroll tax cuts, albeit with different offsets. Both of those proposals were voted down in the Senate, so Reid's latest bill is an attempt at compromise.

‘Go Big’ Goes On

There has been lots of attention recently on the ‘Go Big’ campaign and what comes next. The latest comes from a National Journal article that begins, “The ‘go big’ proponents just won’t quit.”

Deja Vu All Over Again: Another Busy December

News flash: Congress has a huge checklist to take care of. Many expiring tax provisions need to be dealt with, along with other temporary policies and the FY 2012 budget.

Doesn't this sound a lot like last year? Back in 2010, lawmakers had to deal with the 2001/2003 tax cuts, the doc fix, the AMT patch, unemployment insurance, tax "extenders", and FY 2011 appropriations -- in addition to a whole host of other non-budget-related issues -- in December.

Senators Kirk and Manchin Offer "Go Big" Proposal

Today, Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) called for a "Sense of the Senate" resolution pushing for Congress to "Go Big" on deficit reduction using the framework of the Simpson-Bowles proposal. The resolution is a non-binding agreement that a "Go Big" approach needs to be taken towards deficit reduction.

McConnell Lends Support for "Go Big"

According to The Hill, Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has signaled to Senate colleagues that he would be willing to support a $4 trillion plan. That sounds like a call for “Go Big” to us! This is a favorable change, given that earlier this week it was reported that he had favored a smaller $1.2 trillion package in savings.

Senate Committee on Aging Holding Hearing on Medicare Reform

CRFB President Maya MacGuineas and former CBO director and current CRFB board member Douglas Holtz-Eakin will be testifying in front the Senate Special Committee on Aging at a hearing entitled "A Time for Solutions: Finding Consensus in the Medicare Reform Debate." 

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