Conrad Releases Senate Budget, With Even Split on Revenues and Spending

By: Wednesday July 6, 2011 6:50 am

Kent Conrad will present his long-term budget plan today, and you’ll be surprised to know that it shares no meaningful difference with the budget plan Bernie Sanders has been touting of late. Indeed, it includes a 50/50 ratio between tax increases and spending cuts. We’re in a topsy-turvy world when a plan that cuts the [...]

Senate Dems to Unveil Budget as Republicans Reject What They Initially Proposed

By: Thursday June 30, 2011 7:30 am

Senate Democrats will put forward their own budget next week, instead of leaving town for the 4th of July weekend. The biggest near-term consequence of this is that there will be no recess appointment of any Presidential nominee, meaning that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will indeed lose powers when it transfers over to the [...]

Kent Conrad: Deficit Deal Must Exceed $2 Trillion

By: Wednesday June 22, 2011 9:30 am

With friends like these…. The debt-reduction package emerging in talks between the White House and congressional leaders would not “fundamentally change” the alarming rate of growth in the national debt, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee said Tuesday. Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said the goal of slicing more than $2 trillion from the federal [...]

Congress Could Use Reconciliation Process for Deficit “Grand Bargain”

By: Friday May 20, 2011 6:29 am

Kent Conrad has decided to shelve his budget while high-level talks continue on a long-term deficit reduction solution tied to the debt limit. Conrad’s plan got mixed reviews initially from within the caucus, but he altered it to capture the votes of Democrats on the Budget Committee, including Bernie Sanders (I-VT). The latest reports claimed [...]

Moving to the Left? Budget Debate Just Moving to a Bad Outcome

By: Thursday May 12, 2011 8:05 am

Sarah Babbage wonders if the budget debate in Washington has moved to the left. So far this week, Sens. Pat Toomey and Kent Conrad have both released budgets, although Conrad’s has yet to go public. What they both show is a response to the backlash to Paul Ryan’s budget and the GOP’s current budget strategy. [...]

Everyone in Congress Drops Medicare in Their Budget-Cutting Plans

By: Sunday May 8, 2011 1:44 pm

As we get more clarity on the menu of options in the upcoming budget debate, we’re seeing a narrowing of differences between the two parties. The Republicans may not want to admit it, but they’ve given up on changing the structure of Medicare. You can be sure of this by looking at the proposal of [...]

Farm-State Senators Resign Themselves to Lower Ethanol Subsidies

By: Thursday May 5, 2011 10:37 am

The House has a vote today on HR 1230, a bill to expand offshore drilling and speed leases to completion. House Democrats are taking the opportunity to offer a motion to recommit that would repeal subsidies for Big Oil. This will put House Republicans on the record on the contentious issue. On Thursday, when the [...]

The Gang of One: Conrad Introduces His Own Budget Plan

By: Wednesday May 4, 2011 7:25 am

The Gang of Six was always going to be a dicey proposition. I don’t know if you’ve figured this out yet, but Republicans and Democrats don’t agree on a whole lot. So getting a mini-version of the Senate to agree to $4 trillion in spending cuts and revenue increases looked impossible. And guess what, it [...]

Conrad Goes There with Preference for Negotiating Drug Prices in Medicare

By: Friday February 18, 2011 1:08 pm

A lot of people bash the retiring Kent Conrad, and I happily join them. But I will say this – the guy occasionally acts like a true believer. Sure, he’ll vote for budget-busting tax cuts and then call for reduction to the deficit. You can look under any rock on Capitol Hill and find a [...]

McCaskill Leads Democratic Rush Toward Austerity

By: Wednesday February 2, 2011 11:08 am

The Obama Administration called for a 5-year spending freeze in the State of the Union. Republicans have advanced rollbacks to 2008 levels in their early budget projections. And there are outliers like Rand Paul and Michele Bachmann as well. But now, Democrats are threatening to tip the balance over to the side of austerity by [...]

The Austerity Two-Step: Increase the Deficit to Slash the Deficit

By: Friday January 28, 2011 7:37 am

The deficit frauds may have had a plan all along. Kent Conrad and his pals are using the new deficit figures from CBO, the increase of which was caused almost entirely by extending the Bush tax cuts, to re-introduce the Bowles-Simpson cat food commission report. Alarmed by new deficit estimates, the Senate Budget Committee signaled [...]

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