Sen. Lieberman Floats Idea on Meaningful Deficit Reduction
Update: Sen. Lieberman's proposed legislation was introduced today. Click here to read CRFB's reaction.
Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) is floating an idea which would reinstate the authority given to the recently failed Super Committee to any group of twelve bipartisan lawmakers. Lieberman's legislation would require a vote on a bipartisan proposal that reduces the deficit by at least $4 trillion and would thus avoid the sequester. It would allow the recommendations proposed by a group of twelve to operate under expedited procedures. Extending the authority of the Super Committee would keep the pressure on Congress to enact meaningful "Go Big" style deficit reduction in an effort to stabilize and lower the national debt, and enact cuts in a meaningful way as opposed to the across the board style seen by the sequester.
With the Super Committee having failed, Congress spending time racing to extend more than $300 billion in expiring policies, and trying to figure out how to avoid the $1.2 trillion sequester, Lieberman’s idea would offer a fast track process. This is something that is valuable for a bipartisan plan by removing many of the stall tactics that plague the Senate and would thus move Congress in the direction to pass something we truly need - a full fiscal plan. Our goal should be to stabilize the debt and put it on a downward path. But we should not do this with arbitrary across the board cuts; rather we should do it through a thoughtful, comprehensive fiscal plan. Forcing a vote on a plan where the size would guarantee a stable and downward path for the debt would be a huge victory. Lieberman’s proposal would be a good first step, one that Congress should seriously consider. We hope that the administration and leaders of both parties continue to focus on our fiscal problems and come up with a solution. Extending the authority of the Super Committee to those who truly want a bipartisan deficit reduction agreement will surely help to keep the pressure on.