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Sunday, July 17, 2005

Social Security Reform Slipping Quietly Into the Night

In case you haven't heard, as noted by Brad DeLong in his post pointing to Whiskey Bar's comments and quotes from a story in the Washington Post, Social Security reform legislation is on hold until at least September.  This is also when the panel working on tax reform legislation is scheduled to release its recommendations, and when the Supreme Court nomination is likely to heat up, so the agenda is likely to be crowded:

Social Security debate on hold, AP: Congressional action on Social Security legislation, President Bush's top domestic priority, may not come anytime soon.  The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, who earlier predicted his panel would deal with a bill in early June, said Wednesday it may not get to it until September at the earliest.  In the Senate, Republicans on the Finance Committee met Thursday morning to talk about Social Security but afterward it was unclear whether they were any closer to action. Rep. Bill Thomas, R-California … was quick to say about Social Security legislation: "There's no hang-up on contents. It's just how many days we got ..." … Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri, the No. 3 Republican in the House, told reporters he doubted lawmakers would deal with the bill this month. That would delay the debate until fall, when the Senate is expected to be consumed with a Supreme Court confirmation battle.  Sen. Charles Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, told reporters Tuesday he was unsure when his committee would begin work on Social Security legislation…

I will note the free usage of the qualifier “may” in all the statements and reporting, but I don’t see this moving forward.  I do believe Thomas will try and bring Social Security and tax reform into one comprehensive reform package this fall, though the political wisdom of such an attempt seems questionable and, if attempted, I don't believe it will be successful.

    Posted by on Sunday, July 17, 2005 at 01:53 AM in Economics, Politics, Social Security, Taxes | Permalink  TrackBack (0)  Comments (4)


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