Senate Democrats Unveil Budget Next Week
June 30th, 2011
On Wednesday, June 29, Senate Budget Committee chair Kent Conrad (D-ND) announced that Senate Democrats had come to agreement on a proposed budget, which they plan to unveil as soon as next week. Conrad says that the proposal would cut over $4 trillion from the deficit, but revealed no other details, saying only, “We’ve reached and agreement after weeks of work. I think it’s big”.
Senate Democrats may meet with President Obama next week to discuss the plan. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) canceled the Senate’s July Fourth recess in favor of forging ahead on reaching a budget compromise before the August 2 debt ceiling deadline.
The House now faces pressure to cancel their own week-long July 18 recess. The Biden group’s deficit talks stalled last week when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) pulled out due to disagreements over the possibility of raising taxes. Republican lawmakers have tied the size of any potential debt ceiling increase to the amount of budget cuts and have opposed any tax increase as part of the deficit reduction plan.
No new information has emerged from the Biden group’s talks about the size of potential cuts to agriculture funding. Rumored spending cuts agreed to so far include a $34 billion farm bill cut (over the next decade), assumed for purposes of coming up with the number to be achieved by completely eliminating commodity program direct payments. It is unclear if only the number has been agreed to, or if there is a policy or set of policies that have been agreed to for reaching the number.