Members of Congress from both parties like to lament the opportunity missed when President Obama didn’t embrace the budget plan his deficit-reduction committee co-chairs Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles unveiled last year.
They may have an opportunity to turn preening into action.
Monday night, a bipartisan group of House members including Reps. Jim Cooper (D-TN) Steve LaTourette (R-OH), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Charlie Bass (R-NH), Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Tom Reed (R-NY), introduced the Simpson-Bowles plan as a budget alternative to the powerful House Rules committee. Usually these alternatives are ruled in order, and if that holds for this plan, the full House will have an opportunity to back up their words with votes.
If it passed, it would unseat the GOP’s consensus plan, drafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as the incumbent budget for the House — and it’s hard to imagine GOP leaders allowing that to happen. But that would give the lie to the criticisms they and others have lobbed at Obama for failing to embrace the plan himself.
The Simpson-Bowles alternative will be competing with a number of other alternatives, including the House Dem budget, the Progressive Caucus budget, the conservative Republican Study Committee budget and the White House’s own plan, introduced by GOP members to embarrass the President Obama and his Democratic allies. The Simpson-Bowles-based plan will most notably put Republican members on the record voting to increase tax revenues.
You can read a summary of the Simpson-Bowles-based budget proposal here, and the entire legislative text below.
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at email@example.com.