The debate over a Constitutional balanced-budget amendment has been going on in Washington for quite some time. However, the current fiscal environment and several proposals in both chambers of Congress this early in the new session mean that the idea could garner lots of attention, and votes, this year.
The Senate Budget Committee held a hearing on tax reform this morning, featuring testimony from four witnesses who all unequivocally called for fundamental reform to our tax code.
On Monday, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) sent a letter to the Chief of Naval Operations calling for the Pentagon to get its finances in order in the face of elevated budget scrutiny. Although many politicians view defense spending as sacrosanct -- particularly on Senator Coburn's side of the aisle -- there is a growing consensus that the defense budget must be brought under control.
Another bipartisan group of Senators is introducing legislation to promote fiscal reform. Recently we saw Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) work together in support of biennial budgeting.
Late last week, Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced legislation to revamp our budgeting process from an annual to a biennial process. Sen. Isakson has introduced this legislation each year since 2005, when he first came to the Senate, and Sen. Shaheen managed biennial budgets during her time as governor of New Hampshire, which has long utilized biennial budgets. The bipartisan bill (S.
Game On – The Super Bowl in Texas won’t be until Sunday, but Washington had its own big game last week as President Obama gave his State of the Union address.
Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, is calling for swift and decisive action to address our worsening fiscal problems. His comments come in reaction to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) January 2011 baseline report, which was released yesterday. To see CRFB's analysis of the new baseline, click here.
Shooting Puts Legislative Business on Hold – The shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others in Tucson, Arizona has resulted in House leaders suspending legislative activity this week. The only vote now expected this week is one on a resolution honoring Giffords and the other victims of the attack. The House was going to vote this week on repealing the health reform law.