Angus King proposes budget compromise

Sen. Angus King (I-Maine.) on Wednesday floated a compromise proposal to the new House-Senate budget conference committee on which he serves.
 
The King plan seeks to strike a balance between entitlement cuts, closing tax loopholes and reducing tax rates to get both Democrats and Republicans onboard.
 
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The proposal would replace half of the next eight years of sequester cuts while also lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 32.5 percent.
 
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said only that he welcomed suggestions from all panelists, when King referenced the plan in brief remarks during the second meeting of the budget panel on Wednesday.
 
So far the group has been at loggerheads over whether any tax revenue would be included in a two-year sequester-replacement deal. 
 
The King plan replaces $455 billion of sequestration with $200 billion in new revenue and $255 billion in entitlement reforms. The initial plan does not specify which tax breaks or which entitlement benefits would be cut. 
 
Additional revenue from the tax loopholes would be used to lower the corporate tax rate and to create a $50 billion infrastructure stimulus fund. 
 
The remaining sequester cuts would be changed under the King plan using a method known as "smoothing" which would lower the growth of spending in out years in order to pay for bumping up near term cuts. King told reporters that the economy is too weak now to allow sequestration in the near term.
 
"This is not the time to be creating a headwind for the economy. The very best way to reduce the deficit is to foster economic growth," he said. 

He said the plan should work because "there is something in here for everybody to hate."

“For far too long, Congress has acted irresponsibly with its budgeting process. It’s time that we actually put together a plan that will instill certainty and confidence into our economy and show the American people we can still govern,” King said, in a release.

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