Monday, March 25, 2013

for the deficit-neutral reserve fund near you

The ever-helpful Wonkblog at the Washington Post explains why most of the 500 or so amendments proposed to the budget resolution had the same, unusual wording related to a "deficit-neutral reserve fund." The answer:
Short version — “deficit-neutral reserve funds” are completely inconsequential amendments offered as a way to discuss budget-irrelevant topics without violating budget reconciliation rules around what you can and can’t include in a budget resolution.
In other words, to be in proper form for consideration, amendments to the budget resolution have to mention money [a reserve fund] and not increase the deficit. Even so, the budget measure itself can never become law: it's a "concurrent resolution" that only reflects the judgment of Congress and is never sent to the President for signature into law. Therefore, all of those amendments supposedly making judgments on what should be laws were really just window dressing.  They also will serve [misleadingly] as examples in television ads of how Senators stand on hot-button issues.

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