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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today offered an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2018 budget that would prohibit the Republican plan to cut taxes for millionaires and corporations from increasing the deficit.
“Wisconsin families need a tax break and that’s what I’m working for. But this budget resolution fast tracks huge tax breaks for the wealthiest few, blows a huge hole in the deficit and puts Medicare and Medicaid on the chopping block to pay for it,” said Senator Baldwin. “I just do not think it’s right to make the middle class pay for tax breaks for the top 1% with rising deficits and cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.”
Baldwin’s amendment would restore the “Conrad rule” prohibiting reconciliation legislation from increasing the deficit within the ten-year budget window. This rule, named after former Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND), was in place from 2007 until it was repealed in the Fiscal Year 2016 budget resolution.
“The entire reason Reconciliation was created was for deficit reduction. For that special, protected, fast track process to be used to increase the deficit stands logic and its history on its head. It is past time to restore the Reconciliation process to its original purpose which was exclusively for deficit reduction. I applaud Senator Baldwin and her allies in this effort as truly fiscally responsible members,” said former Senator Conrad.
“The reconciliation process was designed to make it easier to advance legislation in order to address our nation’s fiscal challenges. It should not be used to rush through a bill to blow a hole in the deficit,” said Maya MacGuineas, President of the Committee for a Responsible Budget.
“The amendment offered by Senator Baldwin would restore a shield to prevent reconciliation from being used to add to the debt. It is fiscal common sense and important especially now as lawmakers confront growing debt.”
Senators Angus King (I-ME), Mark Warner (D-VA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) have all cosponsored the Baldwin amendment.