Report: Bipartisan Congressional Budget Panel Starts Talks

Capitol_BuildingCongress’ bicameral budget committee could seek to reform entitlement programs as part of efforts to replace the fiscal year 2014 sequestration cuts before they take effect, NBC News reported Wednesday.

Tom Curry writes the conference committee held its first public meeting at the Capitol Wednesday and has until Dec. 13 to formulate a long-term budget plan for consideration by both chambers.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will lead that committee.

Curry writes some of the entitlement reforms included in President Barack Obama’s budget blueprint for fiscal 2014 will require higher-income members to pay increased premiums for Medicare.

The next round of spending cuts mandated by the 2011 Budget Control Act is scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 15 and the Congressional Budget Office estimates the fiscal 2014 sequester cuts could equal nearly 4 percent of total discretionary spending, NBC reports.

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