Nov. 21, 2012
Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) have given their leaders an emergency backup plan to keep Congress from plunging off the "fiscal cliff" at year’s end.
Bennet and Alexander have submitted a three-part plan to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) to keep as a last resort in case negotiations with President Obama fall short.
Bennet’s participation is notable because he is one of Reid’s top choices to take the job of Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chairman.
The break-the-glass emergency proposal would make a substantial down payment toward deficit reduction during the lame-duck session, create a streamlined process to reach a broader deal next year and implement a default deficit-reduction plan if Congress still cannot break a stalemate in 2013.
“It simply pushes the pause button on all the elements of the fiscal cliff, extends everything for a year and then gives us six months in which to reform entitlements and reform taxes and reduce the debt,” said Alexander...
Their proposal is similar to one developed by the Bipartisan Policy Center, but not identical. The center’s plan would not have lawmakers decide on the details of the backstop before passing emergency legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff.
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Economic Policy Project