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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Budget Committee Republicans Advocate For Production Of Budget ‘Prerequisite’ Of Fiscal Reform

Two years ago, editorial cartoonist Nate Beeler
addressed (see above) Sen. Reid's failure to
permit a vote on a budget in the Senate.

Now, after 3 years without a Senate Budget,
Will Chairman Murray and Sen. Majority Leader
Reid block a vote on a Senate budget?
“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 Director
Hearing—Secretary of Treasury
March 4
Continued review of President’s FY 2014 Budget:
Hearing—Secretary of Defense
Hearing—Secretary of Health and Human Services
Hearing—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 Outlook
Hearing—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 Program
Mark 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
Chuck Grassley
Michael Enzi
Mike Crapo
Lindsey Graham
Rob Portman
Pat Toomey
Ron Johnson
Roger Wicker
Kelly Ayotte”

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!
Posted by Bill Smith at 3:01 PM - Post Link


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