Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) voted today in support of an amendment requiring that the Simpson-Bowles plan serve as the framework for federal budget planning. Last year, Himes was one of only 38 Members of Congress to support Simpson-Bowles the first time the House of Representatives considered the plan. While today's amendment was not adopted, Himes was encouraged that support for Simpson-Bowles nearly doubled to 75 votes.
"With $85 billion in automatic spending cuts looming, it's encouraging to see more members of Congress supportive of a plan to bring our nation's long-term fiscal situation into balance," Himes said. "I'm pleased to see more bipartisan agreement on a reasonable deficit-reduction strategy, and I hope today's vote indicates that there is a growing base of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle willing to come to the table to get serious about deficit reduction."
The provision was offered as an amendment to legislation that requires the president, if his original 2014 budget fails to show balance in any year, to submit a supplemental budget that shows when and how a balanced budget would eventually be reached. Presidential budgets, like congressional budget resolutions, typically estimate outlays, revenues, and deficits over a 10-year budget "window." The bill did not require the same of Congressional budgets, despite the fact that the budget passed by the House GOP last year was not predicted to balance the budget until 2040.