4/19/12: Multiple Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Resolutions have been introduced in the Senate. Yesterday, the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) unveiled his own proposal. His outline, which is not expected to be introduced as legislation, mirrors proposals the Simpson-Bowles deficit commission plan put forward in late 2010.
The Simpson-Bowles deficit commission plan was a comprehensive deficit reduction proposal that included revenue increases as well as entitlement reforms but is also not likely to be approved by the Senate. The Simpson-Bowles plan recommended continuing the federal salary freeze, reducing the federal workforce through attrition, and creating a commission to consider reforms to military and civil service health and retirement programs.
The Senate is not expected to approve the Conrad proposal or any of the other budget resolutions that are pending before that body. Instead, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has stated that the Senate plans to begin work on the annual appropriations bills using spending limits set by last year’s debt ceiling agreement.
The House Budget Resolution, H.Con.Res.112, passed the House on March 29, 2012, and has been placed on the Senate calendar, but is also unlikely to be approved. As you know, it would freeze federal pay through 2015, reduce the workforce by 10 percent over three years, and cut $112 billion from the federal retirement system which could mean steep increases in employee retirement contributions.