Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen says Democrats plan to offer an alternative budget that cuts the deficit even more than President Barack Obama’s and also follows “the framework” of recommendations offered last year by the Simpson-Bowles commission.
Van Hollen, the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, was short on details during an appearance Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
But he did say the Democrats’ plan to be presented next week would be a fair and more balanced approach to dealing with the debt crisis than the Republican proposal unveiled Tuesday by GOP Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.
“We bring the deficit under 3 percent of GDP at the end of the 10-year period,” Van Hollen said, adding the plan includes a combination of cuts and additional revenue from closing tax loopholes for upper-income Americans.
When pressed about how it would differ from Obama’s budget, which the White House claims will cut the deficit by $3.5 trillion over 10 years, Van Hollen said:
“Ours will be slightly further in terms of deficit reduction than the president’s. Not a lot, but slightly.”
Van Hollen offered no clear accounting of whether the Democratic plan would actually adopt any of the recommendations offered by the Simpson–Bowles commission, which was created by Obama in 2010 to address the nation’s looming fiscal crisis.
The report produced by the commission, headed by former Wyoming Republican Sen. Alan Simpson, and former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, was rejected by Obama and lawmakers because of its call for large tax increases and deeper spending cuts.
Last year, the bipartisan congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction also rejected the commission’s call for at least $4 trillion in spending cuts over the next 10 years.
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