Mulvaney: Congress working behind the scenes on deficit reduction plan

Posted December 30, 2013 8:20 am | Filed under Featured, Local News

Late last week, President Obama signed into a law a bipartisan budget amendment ironed out right just before Christmas.

And while U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney (SC-5) said he did not support the plan, the Indian Land lawmaker says talks are underway behind closed doors on how to develop a long-term plan to reduce the federal defect by $2.5 trillion over the next decade.

“It’s amazing when you close the door and folks are willing to talk privately about things how reasonable some democrats can be in terms of reforming entitlement programs and how republicans can be in terms of, say, reforming the tax code,” Mulvaney said.

The second-term congressman said the group has no label and its members, for now, are kept secret while lawmakers iron out their differences.

A deficit reduction plan, announced earlier this year by Reps. Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, co-chair’s of President Obama’s Deficit Commission. The plan calls for tightening discretionary expense caps, reforms to healthcare payouts, spending cuts and across-the-board reforms to the tax code.

“I have real hard-core, left-wing democrat friends who are afraid of the defect,” Mulvaney said.”They want to fix it in a way slightly different than I do; that’s fine. As long as they’re convinced that it’s the risk that it is.”

It’s not clear when lawmakers will finish their compromise efforts. As for December 31, the U.S. Debt sits at $17.2 trillion.