Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Simpson-Bowles Plan Reemerges

A bipartisan group in the House is introducing the Simpson-Bowles plan as a substitute to the controversial plan put forward by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). The Ryan plan is expected to eventually pass along party lines in the House and die in the Democratic Senate, but this group of bipartisan Representatives hope to break this cycle of partisanship by bringing the Simpson-Bowles plan to a vote in the House.

This bipartisan group is being led by Reps. Jim Cooper (D-TN) and Steven LaTourette (R-OH) and has the support of Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Charlie Bass (R-NH), Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Tom Reed (R-NY). This group hopes that the Simpson-Bowles plan will at least get a vote on the House floor but many consider this unlikely given that Republican leadership favor the Ryan plan.

Perhaps the most important difference between the Ryan plan and the Simpson-Bowles plan is how they approach revenue. The Ryan plan doesn't include any tax increases due to the fact that many Republicans have vowed to vote against any and all tax increases. The Simpson-Bowles actually lowers tax rates but it also eliminates tax deductions, which would cause a tax increase for many Americans and an increase in revenue for the government.

While it is unlikely that this bill will go any where, especially in an election year, it is still good to see members on both sides of the aisle going out of their way to find compromise.

UPDATE: That was fast.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with Walker's sentiment. It is nice to see bipartisan legislators agitating for moderation in the traditionally more partisan lower chamber. We did see a similar effort with the Gang of Six in the Senate, but unfortunately their approach didn't get very far either.

    I fear as long as we have a partisan house leadership that has absolutely control over the rules committee, we will not see much bipartisan movement out of the House. We'll need to see either a leadership that's more willing to compromise or an independent rules committee that will allow moderates to propose compromise measures. Neither seems likely in 2012.