Time to Put the Genie Back in the Bottle?

Blog Post
Wednesday, March 03, 2021

On the latest Facing the Future, I was joined by Concord Coalition Executive Director, Robert L. Bixby, Concord's Policy Director, Tori Gorman, and Bill Hoagland, a senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center. We discussed the ongoing reconciliation process.

Also this week, an interview with Hamilton Project Director and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, Wendy Edelberg, on COVID-19 relief proposals, which was recorded as part of a recent webinar.

[Note: Portions of this week's Facing the Future can be seen in the video clip posted below.]

Hoagland provided some history on the reconciliation process, including how its use has become little more than a partisan tool to sidestep filibusters in the U.S. Senate. He then weighed in on whether the process should remain and whether the genie it has become can be put back in the bottle.

“It has clearly evolved into something the authors of the Congressional Budget Act never envisioned it becoming,” Hoagland said. “The irony of ironies, a particular piece of legislation that was designed to control the deficit and maintain fiscal sustainability has now become an instrument for upsetting fiscal sustainability for the future; so, yes, I think it’s time to change it.” 

 

This week’s program also included an interview between Gorman and Edelberg that took place during a February 17 webinar focused on monetary, fiscal, and economic policy. Edelberg analyzed the projected economic effects of COVID-19 relief proposals, one of which is the $1.9 trillion package working its way through the reconciliation process in Congress right now. 

Hear more on Facing the Future. I host the program each week on WKXL, NHTalkRadio.com (N.H.), and it is also available via podcast. Join me and my guests as we discuss issues relating to national fiscal policy with budget experts, industry leaders, and elected officials. Past broadcasts are available here. You can subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Pandora, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, iHeart Radio or with an RSS feed. Follow Facing the Future on Facebook, and watch videos from past episodes on The Concord Coalition YouTube channel.