Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

House Democratic Caucus Submits Recommendations

Oct 13, 2011

With only a day left for Committees to send recommendations to the Super Committee, the House Democrats decided to take an omnibus approach. Letters from ranking members of all 16 committees were sent in one package, with an overall letter from Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). These letters are more a laundry list of recommendations than a coherent fiscal plan, so providing a topline savings number would be difficult. Nonetheless, here are some of the highlights:

  • Job creation: Not surprisingly, the number one common theme in these letters was job creation and the number one plan was the American Jobs Act. Investment in surface transportation, broadband, and other infrastrcture projects showed up a couple times as well. Expanded help for homeowners in a variety of ways also made an appearance.
  • Medicare prescription drugs: This area follows up on a letter that a group of House Democrats sent earlier to the Super Committee. House Energy and Commerce Committee ranking member Henry Waxman (D-CA) mentioned providing increased rebates to low-income seniors in Part D, one of the bigger ticket savings items in the letters. Also, Elijah Cummings (D-MD) of the Oversight Committee supported allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices and to combine the purchasing power of all Federal Employee Health Benefit (FEHB) plans to negotiate prices as well.
  • Revenue odds-and-ends: Besides the implicit support for allowing the 2001/2003 upper-income tax cuts to expire, the letters included a number of smaller loophole-closers and revenue-raisers. Oil and gas tax preferences were targeted, and there were proposals to slap a fee on banks, legalize and tax internet gambling, and increase the guarantee fees that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charge. Comprehensive tax reform was mentioned a few times (as well as in the overall letter), but no proposals were made on that front.

For the purpose of simplicity, we will count these letters as one submission, making it the 15th in our Super Committee tracker. We will continue to update the table as remaining committees rush to meet their deadline. 

Committee/Organization/Individual Date Ten-Year Savings
Center for American Progress (CRFB Overview) 9/6 $1.5 trillion

Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia (Minority) (CRFB Overview)

9/15 $1.4 trillion

U.S. PIRG/National Taxpayers Union (CRFB Overview)

9/15 $1 trillion
Third Way (CRFB Overview) 9/15 $1.7 trillion
Taxpayers for Common Sense (CRFB Overview) 9/16 $1.7 trillion

President Obama (CRFB Overview)

9/19 $1.9 trillion
Sens. McCain, Carper, Coats, and Udall 9/20 N/A
Sen. Coburn  9/21 $300 billion
Rep. Coffman (CRFB Overview) 9/23 $103 billion
Center for Science in the Public Interest (CRFB Overview)    9/27 $200 billion

Sens. Coburn and Lieberman (CRFB Overview)

9/28 >$500 billion
99 Medical Assocations (CRFB Overview) 10/3 $62 billion

78 House Democrats (Medicare) (CRFB Overview)

10/5 $156 billion
65 House Democrats (Nuclear Arsenal) (CRFB Overview) 10/11 $200 billion
House Democratic Caucus (CRFB Overview) 10/13 N/A