Obama, House Should Follow Senators’ Lead

Blog Post
Tuesday, March 22, 2011

With unsustainable deficits projected over the coming decade, President Obama and the House of Representatives should embrace a call from 64 senators of both parties to “engage in a broader discussion about a comprehensive deficit reduction package.”

The need for such a package was underscored on Friday by a new analysis of the President’s budget by the Congressional Budget Office. It projected that under the proposed budget, deficits from 2012 through 2021 would total $9.5 trillion, or 4.8 percent of GDP.

In addition, the Government Accountability Office has released updated fiscal projections, warning that the numbers “underscore the need to begin addressing the long-term federal fiscal outlook.”

In a letter to President Obama, the 64 senators, led by Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Mike Johanns (R-NE), called the recommendations of his fiscal commission "an important foundation to achieve meaningful progress on our debt."

The House should also commit itself to serious discussions based on the commission's sweeping recommendations. Up until now, the fiscal debate in Washington has centered on the narrow question of finishing appropriations bills for 2011. A government shutdown was avoided last week when Obama signed a new continuing resolution that cuts $6 billion and funds federal agencies through April 8.

External links:Congressional Budget Office's Preliminary Analysis of the President's BudgetSenate Letter to President ObamaThe Federal Government's Long-Term Fiscal Outlook (GAO)Congressional Budget Office Estimates of FY 2011 Continuing ResolutionsHouse Appropriations Committee Summary of Continuing ResolutionText of Continuing Resolution