Out of Control Policy Blog

Bowles-Simpson May Be Resurrected for 112th Congress

Earlier this month, it seemed that the White House budget committee's report was to be tossed aside after it failed to win enough support to prompt immediate congressional action based on its recommendations. Now it seems the report may see the light of day after all. CBS News reports:

Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia and Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia have been leading a group of more than 20 senators in a discussion about deficit reduction for months now. The group quietly deliberated over the issue while a bipartisan commission created by President Obama put forward its own ideas for deficit reduction.

Early next year, Warner and Chambliss plan to introduce the plan from Mr. Obama's deficit commission in the Senate, the Washington Post reports, with the aim of creating a binding compromise before 2012.

This is almost certainly good news. As writers on this blog have noted before, the Bowles-Simpson plan, while not beyond reproach, is a good starting point for conversation. Moreover, it's a win in itself to keep legislators from sweeping budget reform under the table until another emergency tax fix rolls around in 2012.

Fiscal conservatives may not approve of all of the committee's recommendations, nor are they likely to approve of the President's remarks on budget reform during the upcoming State of the Union address. Still, the more talk - from both sides - on the issue, the more likely Congress will be unable to ignore it.

David Godow is Research Assistant


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