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Webb backs fiscal task force


Staff Report

Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) today cosponsored legislation to create a bipartisan fiscal task force to address the nation’s long-term budget crisis.

The Bipartisan Task Force for Responsible Fiscal Action Act of 2009, S. 2853, was introduced by Sens. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Budget Committee, and 28 cosponsors.

“Americans place great value on fiscal responsibility, and it is imperative that those of us in Washington do the same,” said Webb. “This bipartisan task force responsibly commits legislators from both sides of the aisle to safeguard the long-term health of our economy.”

The bill establishes an 18-member task force comprised of ten Democrats and eight Republicans. The panel would have bipartisan co-chairs. It would consist entirely of currently serving members of Congress selected by Democratic and Republican Congressional leaders, as well as the Treasury Secretary and one other administration official selected by the president. This means all of the task force members would be directly accountable to the American people, and bipartisan leadership at the highest levels of the government would be responsible for the panel’s outcome.

The task force would review all aspects of the current and long-term financial condition of the federal government. The task force recommendations, which would be submitted to the Congress after the 2010 elections, would be considered by Congress under expedited procedures with a vote required.

Importantly, the task force would ensure a bipartisan outcome. Broad bipartisan agreement would be required to move anything forward. Fourteen of the 18 task force members would have to agree to report the recommendations. And final passage would require supermajorities in both the Senate and House.



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