A Critical Time for Action
In recent years, the fiscal policymaking process in the United States has broken down. Rather than passing an actual budget, the government instead lurches from crisis to crisis, with battles over continuing resolutions, debt limits, fiscal cliffs, and sequesters. These partisan fights not only harm the economy and damage the credibility of the U.S., but they also prevent meaningful progress on the critical fiscal challenges that we face.
Unfortunately, the final months of 2013 appear to be more of the same. Members of the House and Senate returned from August break to a full slate of decisions and deadlines. In many cases, there’s not much time to act, yet the stakes are high. Whether it’s 2014 appropriations, the debt ceiling, dealing with the threat of sequestration, or tackling tax reform, there’s no shortage of critical issues that affect our fiscal future.
While these are individual challenges, they are also part of a larger narrative with serious implications for our nation’s economy and fiscal health. Rather than governing by crisis — or trying to score political points — Congress and the President should seek a comprehensive bipartisan framework to protect the economic recovery and stabilize our debt for the long term.
On the following pages, we take a look at key upcoming milestones, examining how each fits into the larger fiscal picture.