Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
Budget Process_Books

Budget Reconciliation Shouldn't Add to Deficit

Jan 6, 2017 | Budget Process

Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) has filed an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2017 budget resolution being considered in the Senate that would restore the “Conrad rule” prohibiting reconciliation legislation from increasing the deficit within the ten-year budget window.

Reconciliation legislation is considered under special expedited procedures that allow legislation to pass the Senate with 51 votes instead of the 60-vote threshold that applies to end debate on most legislation. This rule, named after former Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND), was in place from 2007 until it was repealed in the Fiscal Year 2016 budget resolution.

Senator Baldwin’s amendment to restore the “Conrad Rule” would prohibit reconciliation legislation from increasing the deficit, and would help to ensure fiscal responsibility in a time of high and rising debt.

CRFB President Maya MacGuineas said: “Reconciliation legislation is considered under special expedited procedures and should be used to enact the tough choices necessary to reduce the debt trajectory, not to make tax and spending giveaways even easier to deliver. Senator Baldwin's amendment would help ensure reconciliation is part of more responsible budgeting - something we particularly need now when the debt is so high relative to the economy.”

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For more information, contact Barbara Ann Clay, director of communications, at clay@crfb.org.