Thursday, September 18, 2014


"The Bottom Line" Goes to Washington, D.C. Part II
by Mike Strehlow


Washington, D.C.--  Several members of Congress from Wisconsin are playing key roles in a bipartisan effort to avoid another government shutdown next January. 

Republican Representative Paul Ryan is a co-chair of the Budget Conference Committee which has a December 13th deadline to submit its recommendations to the House and Senate. 

Ryan told CBS 58's Mike Strehlow, "What we're trying to do is have smarter spending cuts replace these sort of across the board spending cuts known as the sequester.  So we'll see if we can reach agreement.  We're not interested in raising taxes.  We're interested in smarter spending cuts that result in more deficit reduction and better debt reduction, and we think that will help the economy." 

When asked if the committee will meet next month's deadline, Ryan responded, "We'll see if we can get an agreement, but even if we don't, we'll just keep government funded at our current level."

Ryan's colleague across the aisle, Democratic Congresswoman Gwen Moore, questions whether this committee can succeed after so many others have failed. 

"Based on the history of the special committees, and the special, special committees, and super committees, and the super duper committees...that this committee will be any different." 

Moore, however, does believe both parties need to cut through the partisan politics to prevent another stoppage that among other things, furloughed some federal employees and forced local schools to postpone trips to Washington, D.C. 

"I think that it's really important for democrats and republicans to to sort of rise above our own circumstances"  Moore said.

Wisconsin Senators Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin are both part of the Budget Conference Committee.

Johnson said he wants the other side to agree that the sustainability of Social Security and Medicare are major issues.

Baldwin would like to see a budget where domestic programs and loopholes for the wealthy see cuts.

Senator Baldwin said she has hope something will be done because everyone on the committee wants to avoid another government shutdown.

Johnson was less optimistic and said that with Democrats unwilling to admit to the real problem, finding compromise will be difficult.

Both Johnson and Baldwin said they want to work with the other side.

Representative Contact Info:

Paul Ryan - http://paulryan.house.gov/contact/#.Uo0ymFNw9_c

Gwen Moore - http://gwenmoore.house.gov/contact-me/

Ron Johnson - http://www.ronjohnson.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact

Tammy Baldwin - http://www.baldwin.senate.gov/contact