Whatever agreement comes out of the House-Senate conference on President Barack Obama’s Trillion Dollar Debt Plan is completely irrelevant. Whatever spending that Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Arlen Specter (R-PA) get taken out of the bill, will just get included in future legislation. Budget process expert Stan Collender explains:
Even if the president doesn’t make a request for additional fiscal stimulus, there will a number of already scheduled opportunities for more stimulus to be enacted. I’m even willing to predict that more will be adopted in the not too distant future if it is needed.
The congressional budget process will provide the means for this to happen.
The continuing resolution put in place last Fall to cover the nine 2009 appropriations that were not enacted by the start of the fiscal year will expire on March and additional spending almost certainly will be added to the levels currently in place just a week or so after the stimulus is signed.
The Obama 2010 budget will start that year’s budget process and the appropriations for that year will provide another opportunity for an additional economic jolt this Fall.
But even more important, the 2010 budget process could include a reconciliation bill that increases spending or reduces revenues or both that, because of the rules, won’t be subject to a filibuster in the Senate. In addition, the budget resolution that has to be adopted before a reconciliation bill can happen also can’t be filibustered.
Not only will that make another stimulus bill much easier to enact, it’s also something that could happen any time after the budget resolution is adopted so the process could be completed relatively early this year and the stimulus provided quickly.
So don’t think for a second Obama’s Trillion Dollar Debt Plan marks the end of Washington’s historic deficit spedning binge. It is just the latest float in the Bush-Obama Borrow-Bailour Parade.