The Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 budget and long term deficit reduction will continue to be on the Senate agenda this week. A group of six lawmakers led by Vice President Joe Biden will meet for the second time Tuesday to continue talks on developing a legislative framework for deficit reduction. President Obama established the group to try and reach agreement before the vote on raising the debt ceiling. Joining the Vice President in the talks are Senators Max Baucus (D-MT), John Kyl (R-AZ), Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI), and Representatives Eric Cantor (R-VA), James E. Clyburn (D-SC), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) is expected to introduce a budget resolution later this week. While the proposal could change before introduction as he continues to discuss the plan with his colleagues, it is expected to reduce the long term deficit by about $4 trillion. It is not likely to turn the Medicare program into a voucher program, but details are not yet known about any suggested Medicaid cuts.