–President Obama Expected To Call For ‘Responsible’ Deficit Cuts
–President Also Expected To Endorse Tax Reform
–Congressional Budget Office To Release New Deficit & Econ Report Weds
–CBO Chief To Testify To Senate Budget Panel Thursday
–Tsy’s Geithner Invited To Testify Wednesday on TARP
By John Shaw
WASHINGTON (MNI) – President Obama’s State of the Union address
Tuesday and the Congressional Budget Office’s release of its new ten
year budget and economic outlook Wednesday will kick off the year’s
fiscal and policy debate.
Obama will address a joint session of the House and Senate at 9
p.m. EST. In his speech, Obama is expected to continue to send signals
that he wants to work with a politically divided Congress on initiatives
that boost growth and control spending.
In a video preview of his speech emailed to supporters, the
president says “my principle focus, my number one focus, is going to be
making sure that we are competitive, that we are growing and we are
creating jobs, not just now but well into the future.”
In the video, Obama says that it’s important to deal with the
budget deficit “in a responsible way,” adding that “we’ve got to reform
government so that it’s leaner and smarter for the 21st century.”
Many in Congress and elsewhere are expecting the president to make
a vigorous case for tax reform, but it’s unclear if he will urge
lawmakers to pass a comprehensive overhaul in the new Congress or focus
first on corporate tax reform.
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan will deliver the official
Republican response to Obama’s speech Tuesday evening. He is expected to
focus heavily on a call to cut spending.
Before the speech Tuesday, the House is expected to pass a
GOP-drafted resolution that would call on Ryan to introduce a plan to
reduce the rest of fiscal year 2011 non-security spending to FY’08
levels or lower.
The year’s fiscal debate will sharpen Wednesday when the CBO
releases at 10 a.m. its new budget and economic estimates. The CBO’s
director, Doug Elmendorf, will hold a briefing on the report at 11 a.m.
Wednesday and then will testify on the report before the Senate Budget
Committee Thursday at 10 a.m.
Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for TARP, will testify
Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. before the House Oversight and Government Reform
Committee on TARP. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has been invited to
testify at that same hearing.
The House Budget Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday at 10 a.m.
on the fiscal impact of health care reform. Richard Foster, the chief
actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will testify.
The House Ways and Means Committee will also hold a hearing
Wednesday at 10 a.m. on the economic effects of the health care overhaul
The House Financial Services Committee will hold its organizational
meeting Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. and then will hold a hearing Wednesday on
ways to boost economic growth and job creation. The panel will hear from
a wide range of witnesses including John Taylor of the Hoover
Institution and Stanford University and former Federal Reserve Board
vice chairman Donald Kohn, who is now a scholar at the Brookings
President Obama is set to release his fiscal year 2012 budget on
Congress is still trying to complete work on the FY11 budget.
Before adjourning in late December, Congress passed a stop-gap spending
bill that funds the government until March 4.
** Market News International Washington Bureau: (202) 371-2121 **