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TESS VIGELAND: In Washington today the Senate Budget Committee will consider changes to the budget process. It’s an effort to reign in deficit spending. John Dimsdale reports that while everybody agrees Congress needs to stem the flow of red ink, there’s plenty of haggling over how to do it.
JOHN DIMSDALE: Senate Budget committee chairman Judd Gregg is backing a plan he calls Stop Over-Spending or SOS. It would set strict deficit limits. Going above the ceiling would trigger across-the-board spending cuts, including, for the first time, cuts in mandatory entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and veterans’ benefits.
That raises opposition from Democrats who think the President’s tax cuts should also be on the table. There may be more agreement on another aspect of Gregg’s bill: giving the President a line item veto. However, Senator Gregg doesn’t think that alone would go far enough.
JUDD GREGG: I’m not sure it would pass. And I’m not sure it would do much, because the real issue of where the money is on the mandatory side, not the discretionary side.
Later this week the House of Representatives takes up its own proposal to give the President a sharper knife with which to trim budget fat.
In Washington, I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.
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