Bill Hoagland: Reconciliation, corrupted by Congress: May it R.I.P.
G. William Hoagland is senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center and a member of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. He previously held senior staff positions with the U.S. Senate Budget Committee and the Office of the Republican Majority Leader. He recently wrote an opinion piece for Roll Call, an excerpt of which is below:
Congress is on a path to enact a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package under a budgetary procedure known as reconciliation. It was originally designed as a tool for fiscal responsibility — a principle I have spent my professional career trying to uphold.
No one denies the need to assist families and businesses that have and continue to suffer from the economic fallout of the pandemic. But the current Democratic reconciliation bill and the 2017 Republican tax reconciliation measure have paid scant attention to the country’s mounting debt load.
The budget and reconciliation procedures that once led to America’s balanced budgets from 1998 to 2001 are now driving us further into debt. In cinematic words that should be familiar to Sen. Pat Leahy, “You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”
Published works by members or staff of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget do not necessarily reflect the views of all members or staff of the Committee.