(A version of this Health Alert was published by The Hill.)
In a remarkable move breaching a four-decade precedent and characterized by many as a snub, the Republican chairmen of the House and Senate Budget Committees declined to invite the director of the Office of Management and Budget to present President Obama’s 2017 budget to their committees.
Utterly ignoring the president’s proposed budget is short-sighted, especially since congressional Republicans are disunited on fiscal issues. In January the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) updated its estimate of the cumulative federal deficit for the next 10 years to $8.5 trillion, versus just $7 billion last August.
The reason for the increase is that Republicans, who control both chambers, have won some tax cuts but no spending cuts. Obama’s latest budget offers the opportunity to remedy this, if only to a small degree and only by being very selective.