Senate to Develop Deficit Reduction Proposals

The Senate is expected to be very busy developing deficit reduction proposals. Vice President Biden is hosting the first meeting of the bipartisan House and Senate leaders to try and find common ground on deficit reduction proposals. The Senate Finance Committee is holding a hearing on May 4 to hear testimony on deficit reduction proposals. The witnesses include former Senator Phil Gramm, who co-sponsored Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 which provided for automatic spending cuts if the deficit exceeded a set of fixed deficit targets; Susan J. Irving, from the Government Accountability Office; and Paul Van de Water from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The six Senators who have been working together for several months to develop a bipartisan plan based on the recommendations from President Obama’s Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform are still working together and are expected to release a proposal in the coming weeks. Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security are critical programs for people with disabilities and may be addressed in any proposals to control federal spending.

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