News reports this morning indicate that the congressional budget conference committee is making little progress in negotiations toward a compromise spending plan for 2014. Let's give them a nudge in the direction of the people's priorities: Sign our petition to the budget committee and ask legislators to listen to the American people and pass a spending plan that reflects our values.
According to the Associated Press:
House and Senate budget negotiators say they're not close to an agreement but plan to keep at it.
"We're trying to find common ground but we're not there yet," said House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R.-Wisc. He said Republicans and Democrats have spent lots of time in the recent past airing their differences but it's now time to find a way to strike an accord. "The hard part is figuring out where we agree," Ryan said.
Ryan convened a public meeting of negotiators on Wednesday, but the session was devoted to speechmaking and hearing testimony from Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf rather than actual negotiation.
At the center of the controversy are corporate tax loopholes. Lead Democratic negotiator, Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash., wants to close tax loopholes for corporations and use the resulting revenue to offset a cancellation of sequestration cuts. Ryan, lead Republican negotiator, opposes such a move.
Yet, according to polls, an overwhelming majority of Americans want higher taxes on the wealthiest and corporate tax loopholes closed, especially the loophole that lets corporations defer taxes on income earned overseas. There's also wide agreement among the American people on a wide range of other priorities: protecting Social Security and Medicare, avoiding cuts to food stamps (SNAP) and reducing military spending, among others.
The budget committee needs a push to give us a spending plan that reflects our priorities. Sign our Change.org petition to Ryan, Murray and the budget committee for a budget that reflects the values of the American people.