Politics Magazine

House-Senate Budget Committee Set To Fail

Posted on the 14 November 2013 by Jobsanger

House-Senate Budget Committee Set To FailHouse-Senate Budget Committee Set To Fail Reconciliation of the budget bills from the House and Senate never had much of a chance of succeeding, and now it looks like it is going south in a hurry. They've only met a couple of times, and they still have a month before they are required to report back to the full House and Senate, but both sides are already digging in.
House committee leader Paul Ryan has made it clear that the Republicans won't even discuss new revenue of any kind. And Senate committee leader Patty Murray has made it equally clear that there will be no new cuts, or any "grand bargain", without closing tax loopholes that allow the rich to pay less in tax percentage than many in the middle class.
It's obvious that Senator Murray is the one willing to compromise here. She has not ruled out any cuts, and is willing to discuss a compromise. She, and her fellow Democrats on the committee, just want any budget resolution to be fair to everyone. They are not willing to lower the deficit on the backs of hurting Americans (children, seniors, the poor, the unemployed, etc.) and let the rich (and corporations) continue to avoid paying taxes. They want any agreement to contain a mixture of cuts and new revenues.
Meanwhile, the Republicans maintain their "don't tax the rich" attitude. They cling to their failed trickle-down economic policy. And they want to reduce the deficit with just cuts -- cuts that will further hurt ordinary Americans who are still struggling to recover from the Bush recession.
None of this should surprise anyone. This budget reconciliation committee had only about as good a chance of succeeding as the public approval of Congress -- about a 6% to 9% chance of success. There is still a month before the committee has to report back to Congress, but unless the Republicans change their "no compromise" attitude, they will just be reporting their own failure. This means we will be looking at a new continuing budget resolution next January -- and the possibility that the GOP will shut down the government again.
I wish I was wrong on this, but a person would have to be the world's greatest optimist to think this committee will find a budget they can agree on (and could pass in both the House and Senate). I just hope the Democrats stick to their promise. No budget agreement would be better than another GOP-imposed round of cuts with no increased revenues.
(The caricatures above of Patty Murray and Paul Ryan are by DonkeyHotey.)

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog