October 20, 2023
House Budget Committee Holds “Fiscal Commission” Hearing
On Thursday, the House Budget Committee held a full committee hearing entitled “Sounding the Alarm: Examining the Need for a Fiscal Commission.”
Led by Republican Chairman Jodey Arrington (TX), the hearing primarily focused on why a fiscal debt commission is necessary. Republican witnesses, including former Democratic Senator Kent Conrad (ND), former Republican Senator Rob Portman (OH), and current Rep./former House Budget Chair Rep. Steve Womack (AR), spoke about the benefits of the provisions and ideas in previous fiscal commissions and why Congress needs to go that route again to avoid future budget rescissions, especially to Social Security and Medicare.
The lone Democratic witness, former Budget Committee Chair and Rep. John Yarmuth (KY), as well as the current Budget Committee Ranking Member, Rep. Brendan Boyle (PA), argued strongly that fiscal commissions are nothing more than sneaky, closed door schemes to make cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and other critical government programs.
“Because the commission would not take place via regular order and include hearings and recorded votes in both chambers, elected officials could support drastic reductions to the Social Security and Medicare programs without the knowledge of the American people,” said Joseph Peters, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “The Alliance strongly opposes any effort to erode the benefits Americans have earned over a lifetime.”
“A 2014 poll from the National Academy of Social Insurance found that 83% of Americans are specifically in favor of preserving Social Security benefits, even if that means increasing taxes on the wealthy,” added Executive Director Fiesta.