Presents opportunity for both sides to come together to create more sustainable path
Washington, D.C. - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, a member of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee, has been named as one of the twenty-one senators of the U.S. Senate who will serve on a conference committee to reconcile the differences between the Senate and U.S. House of Representatives-passed budgets. This bipartisan group, from both the Senate and House, will work to find compromise between the differing budgets with a deadline to report back to Congress by December 13, 2013.
The Senate and House agreed to go to conference on the budgets as part of a larger deal to reopen the government and extend the nation's borrowing limit. This measure passed both chambers on October 16 and was signed by the president shortly thereafter.
"This new conference committee presents an enormous opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to find common ground on a more sustainable budget path for our country," said Crapo. "For far too long, Washington has come to rely on short-term spending measures that do not allow for meaningful and significant reform of our spending habits. Further, if Congress continues neglecting to adhere to the budget it adopts, the deficit reduction claimed in the out years will never be achieved. For the first time in over fifty years, the Budget Control Act has helped cut spending for two consecutive years and with a debt approaching $17 trillion dollars, a figure that is unsustainable and hurting economic growth, there is no reason these spending reductions should not remain in place.
"While I could not support the budget that was passed by the Senate earlier this year, I believe there are ideas and policies in both versions that we can mutually agree on and start the process of putting us on a sustainable fiscal path. This will not be an easy task with an almost $90 billion dollar difference between the two budgets, but I look forward to working with Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Washington) and Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) to achieve this goal," Crapo concluded.
The other senators appointed to the conference committee include: Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, Committee Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming), Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania.), Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire), Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), Bill Nelson (D-Florida), Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan), Bernie Sander (I-Vermont) Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island), Mark Warner (D-Virginia), Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon), Chris Coons (D-Delaware), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) and Angus King (I-Maine).
Crapo previously served as a member of the President's Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, helped develop the "Bowles-Simpson" budget blueprint and was a member of the Senate's bipartisan "Gang of Six" that has held ongoing budget and tax reform meetings.