House Members Still Trying to ‘Go Big’
Roll Call reports:
A group of more than 150 legislators is taking up Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s challenge to scrap the “happy talk” on deficit reduction and produce a bill this year to cut more than $4 trillion from the deficit.
The Go Big Coalition aims to craft bill language based on the recommendations of the president’s 2010 deficit reduction commission and bring that measure to the floors of the House and Senate by this spring.
Reid said late last year that if the bipartisan “gang of six” Senators working on a deficit reduction plan had a proposal, “put it in bill form, in writing — not all these happy statements on what people think can be done.”
Buy-in from leadership in both chambers will be crucial to bringing a deal to the floor, however. Rep. Michael Grimm, a member of the GOP whip team, said “there is some talk” with Republican leaders on how to move forward but that right now the coalition is focused on hashing out a $4 trillion deal.
“There is some leadership involved, but overall we really want to make this an effort of the Members and really, truly keep as much politics out of it as we can,” the New Yorker said.
Like other Members interviewed, Grimm conceded that electoral politics are another hurdle to the group’s mission. He pointed to broad bipartisan efforts to reform immigration during President George W. Bush’s administration and the Senate’s failed attempts at an energy overhaul as examples. He also acknowledged that the coalition could fold in a similarly dramatic fashion.
“We’re in Washington; there’s always going to be politics,” he said.
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