Budget Committee Republicans Advocate For Production Of Budget ‘Prerequisite’ Of Fiscal Reform
“The suggested schedule we offer below would result in regular meetings and a timeline that leads to the completion of a budget resolution in accordance with the statutory requirements… We believe that work on a Senate budget is an essential prerequisite of any fiscal reform that takes place this year.”WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, released a letter from ALLBudget Committee Republican members to incoming Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) regarding the Committee’s schedule for the upcoming year.
Text of the Senators' letter
Dear Chairman Murray:
We were pleased that you have indicated a desire to hold regular Budget Committee hearings. As you consider the agenda for the year, the Republican members would like for you to consider a vigorous hearing and mark-up schedule. The early part of the year is always busy for the Budget Committee and our current unsustainable debt path makes our work even more important. The suggested schedule we offer below would result in regular meetings and a timeline that leads to the completion of a budget resolution in accordance with the statutory requirements.
We believe the Budget Committee cannot be a bystander at this historic time when the nation will be confronting the most serious debt issues. We must take the steps necessary to avoid what Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles have told our committee will be the “the most predictable economic crisis in history.” The work of our committee, and the process of marking up a budget, will play an important role in helping the Congress and the nation find our way through this dangerous period.
We believe that an open, fact-driven analysis of our situation as part of the lawfully required budget process will be good for America. Our requests and suggestions are not for an easy schedule but for a challenging one. The people deserve no less. Substance must override politics.
We pledge to be active and positive contributors to this work. There will be clear policy differences, but what better place (or more important time) can there be to deal with them than in the committee that is charged with setting out a fiscal plan annually for the United States.
This schedule assumes, we must note, the formal marking-up of a budget as annually called for by the Budget Act of 1974. We believe that work on a Senate budget is an essential prerequisite of any fiscal reform that takes place this year.
There remains a strong desire among senators to serve on this committee because members still see it as the forum for meeting the great challenge of our time. Still, if our committee fails to do important work, its value will surely be diminished. That must not happen. We look forward to working with you and believe the following is an agenda that would allow us to fulfill the fundamental duties of the Budget Committee:
Week of . . . Proposed Activity January 22 Hearing—Economic Effects of the Federal Debt January 28 Hearing—Status of the Congressional Budget Process February 4 Hearing—CBO Economic and Budget Outlook February 11 Hearing—Lessons in Fiscal Consolidation from Other Countries February 18 State Work Period February 25 Anticipating the release of President’s FY 2014 Budget three weeks after the statutory deadline of February 4:Hearing—OMB DirectorHearing—Secretary of Treasury March 4 Continued review of President’s FY 2014 Budget:Hearing—Secretary of DefenseHearing—Secretary of Health and Human ServicesHearing—Secretary of Agriculture March 11 Mark up FY 2014 Budget Resolution in Committee (statutory deadline April 1) March 18 Debate FY 2014 Budget Resolution in Senate March 25 and April 1 State Work Period April 8 Debate FY 2014 Budget Resolution Conference Agreement in Senate (statutory deadline April 15) April 15 Hearing—GAO Duplication Report April 22 Hearing—Federal Employee Pay and Retirement April 29 State Work Period May 6 Hearing—Budgetary Issues Regarding Farm Bill Reauthorization May 13 Hearing—The Federal Role in Enhancing America’s Energy Future May 20 Hearing—Financial Sustainability of the Highway Trust Fund May 27 State Work Period June 3 Hearing—Means-Tested Entitlements: Trends and Opportunities June 10 Hearing—Using Competition to Reduce Health Care Cost June 17 Hearing—Legislation referred to Committee (to be determined) June 24 Hearing—Supplemental Security and Disability Income Reform July 1 State Work Period July 8 Hearing—CBO Long-Term Budget OutlookHearing—Legislation referred to Committee (to be determined) July 15 Hearing—Role of Health Care in the Long-Run Fiscal Imbalance July 22 Hearing—CBO Analysis of Future Years’ Defense ProgramMark up legislation referred to Committee (to be determined) July 29 Hearing—Immigration and Federal Assistance August 5 through September 2 State Work Period September 9 Hearing—Reducing Poverty and Dependency in America September 16 Hearing—Incentives for Federal Employees to Improve Program Performance September 23 Hearing—Trust Funds in the Federal Budget September 30 Hearing—Postal Service Reform October 7 Hearing—Legislation referred to Committee October 14 State Work Period
There is no further schedule information for the Senate past the week of October 14, 2013. Additional hearings could be added as the Senate schedule becomes clearer.
Thank you for your consideration of these suggestions. We look forward to a productive year as we confront the extraordinary fiscal dangers threatening our country.
Very truly yours,
Jeff Sessions, Ranking Member
Tags: Senate Budget Committee, Republican members, Letter to Committee Chair, democrat, Patty Murray, fiscal reform To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!