Keith Hennessey

Understanding the President’s new budget proposal

I will describe in some detail the President’s new budget proposal, then provide a few big picture reactions to it.

I have been keeping my recent posts fairly short. This one is instead more of a reference post, and it is not for the faint of heart. I hope it is useful, I know it is long. Consider yourself warned.

Today the President proposed:

  1. a negotiating process;
  2. deficit and debt targets;
  3. a new budget process trigger mechanism;
  4. and new spending cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, other entitlements, and defense.

Compared to the budget he proposed in February, he offers no new proposals in non-security discretionary spending (I think), taxes, or Social Security.

Process

The President proposes a 16-person bicameral bipartisan Congressional budget negotiation, led by VP Biden, beginning in early May. Each Congressional leader (Boehner, Pelosi, Reid and McConnell) would name four Members. The group’s goal would be “to agree on a legislative framework for comprehensive deficit reduction.”

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(photo credit: White House photo by Pete Souza)

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