As formal budget negotiations got underway Wednesday – lawmakers pledged to work across party lines to fund federal agencies, avoid another government shutdown and adopt lasting changes to rein in the rising national debt. Democrats expressed a willingness to swap sequester cuts for permanent structural changes to federal health programs sought by Republicans. In fact – Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray said she’s ready to make some tough concessions to get a deal. But she noted compromise goes both ways. According to Murray – Republicans need to work with Democrats to close some wasteful tax loopholes and special interest subsidies.
House Budget Chair Paul Ryan said tax loopholes should only be closed in the context of comprehensive tax reform – so the money raised could be given back to taxpayers in the form of lower rates. Ryan said the tax code is full of carve-outs and kickbacks that need to be eliminated. He said bipartisan talks over tax reform are the way to do it. Ryan said the budget talks should be limited to cutting spending in a smarter way. If the conference negotiations become an argument about taxes – he said conferees won’t get anywhere.
Source: NAFB News service