Work on a 2012 budget is underway, but the outlines of the final product, let alone the ultimate spending amounts, remain unclear. In part, this is because there are a number of budget proposals that are continuing to fuel debate. While both the House and the Senate are in recess until April 2nd, many Members of Congress are holding Town Hall Meetings to discuss the various plans.
Earlier this year, President Obama proposed a $3.7 trillion budget that froze domestic discretionary spending for 2012. On April 15th, the House of Representatives passed H.Con.Res 34, the House’s FY2012 Budget Proposal, 235-193. That budget, put forward by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) goes further in cutting domestic spending programs than did President Obama’s 2012 proposal. Today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that he would hold a vote on the House budget, though he does not expect it to pass. The Senate is still waiting on a budget from Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad as well as a bipartisan plan being negotiated b y a group of moderate Senators known as the “Gang of Six”.
Senate Democratic Leadership will hold a call tomorrow, Thursday, April 28th at noon (EST) with leaders from the Jewish community to discuss their plans for the 2012 budget. Senator Mark Begich (AK-D), Chair of the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee and a member of the Senate Budget Committee, and Senator Benjamin Cardin (MD-D), also a member of the Senate Budget Committee, as well as, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, will discuss their thoughts on the 2012 federal budget process and the impact the House budget proposal may have on Jewish communities across the country. There will also be an opportunity for participants to ask questions.