Senate Leader Downplays Chance for Budget Progress
Negotiators Should Not Undo Spending Discipline
(Washington, DC) – Today members of the House and Senate meet in a conference committee to attempt to hammer out a budget resolution to guide future spending decisions. Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, recently stated that budget negotiations between the House and Senate are unlikely to lead to a "grand bargain" that tackles spending, taxes, and deficits in a significant way. He said discussion of such a plan is merely "happy talk," and the negotiations were more likely to center on finding a way to cancel $23 billion in spending reductions scheduled to take effect next year. This cut is part of the sequestration package signed into law by President Obama in 2011, which raised the federal debt ceiling while also reducing spending.
These budget talks come at a time of plummeting consumer confidence, partly due to uncertainty about the possible effects of Washington's continued inability to responsibly address fiscal issues. If the conference negotiations beginning today are successful, entrepreneurs and job creators may have the certainty they count on going forward.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative released the following statement:
"The Senate Majority Leader has a critical role in building support for bipartisan legislative achievements. If Republicans and Democrats are to come together on a plan to rein in our debt and promote job creation, it will need his support. Unfortunately, some in Washington are intent on breaking previous bipartisan commitments and raising spending, rather than on responsible budgeting.
Although it's encouraging that Members of Congress are reaching across the aisle to negotiate about spending priorities, that's something Congress is supposed to do every year as part of the normal budget process. When they refused to do so, we wind up with avoidable crises like the government shutdown and fiscal cliff – which do needless damage to the economy. With our debt over $17 trillion and climbing, and without any sign of the economy improving, Americans expect Congress to do more. It will take real leadership from people like Senator Reid and Speaker Boehner to make it happen."