Senator Portman floats ideas to solve budget impasse

WASHINGTON Mon Oct 7, 2013 3:16pm EDT

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) speaks to the crowd at Ohio Republican U. S. Sen. candidate Josh Mandel's election night rally in Columbus, Ohio, November 6, 2012. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) speaks to the crowd at Ohio Republican U. S. Sen. candidate Josh Mandel's election night rally in Columbus, Ohio, November 6, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Aaron Josefczyk

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican Senator Rob Portman on Monday was circulating a plan to cut federal spending and reform the U.S. tax code as part of a broader plan to reopen shuttered government agencies and provide the Treasury Department with more borrowing authority in order to avoid a default.

A Senate Republican aide, who asked not to be identified, said that Portman's proposals were in an early stage with no guarantees that they would gain traction in a Congress deadlocked over budget and debt challenges.

While Democratic lawmakers and House of Representatives Republicans also were being consulted, the idea faced a major hurdle.

President Barack Obama and his Democratic colleagues in Congress have insisted that there be no negotiations over longer-term budget and tax issues until a week-long government shutdown is ended and the $16.7 trillion debt limit, which could be breached around October 17, is raised by Congress.

Nevertheless, as House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, traded stern barbs, Portman's overtures were one of the first signs of a lawmaker working on a plan that was intended to solve Washington's fiscal crisis.

Under the proposal, Obama would win a full year of government funding, instead of a short-term spending bill lasting several weeks that would have to be renegotiated in November or December, the aide said.

Republicans would get the strict across-the-board spending cuts that currently are in place, which many liberal Democrats, and some more centrist Republicans, want to scrap.

The remaining piece of the puzzle would be instructions to tax-writing committees in Congress to write legislation by next year to reform the tax code in a way that would help further grow the U.S. economy.

The aide said that Portman, an Ohio Republican, has floated the idea to other Republican senators, including Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, as well as some Democrats.

(Reporting By Richard Cowan; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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Comments (8)
4825 wrote:
Not being willing to negotiate until the government is up and running is a straw man. It is funny that the government shut down has not stopped the rhetoric coming out of the White House. A good leader would be above the politics and be willing to negotiate for the better of the country.

Oct 07, 2013 5:03pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JamesChirico wrote:
You don’t negotiate with people holding a gun (debt limit), you take them out. Americans love you when you stand up to bullies and take them out. The Senate proposed a 998 billion discretionary spending, far from the president’s budget request of 1.2 trillion, more than the 967 in the Ryan budget. The GOP has already paid laid off gov’t workers but private sector hurt continues with the shutdown (300 million daily). The GOP always tries to overreach asking for too much. That leads to CRs to run the gov’t.

Tax reform for American economy growth is not giving more to the wealthy to open another WalMart factory in China. We should make all foreign taxes paid by multinationals not deductible, tax on foreign income paid annually instead of the possible 3 year deferment. Shell corps. holdings worth more than $500,000 in total should be taxed every 2 years based on balance sheet growth ending no taxes paid by rich shell corp. investors. Capital gains should be indexed with 20% on over $500,000, 25% on over 10 million to pay for a Reagan investment tax credit. Leased federal land not 25% developed should have leasee lose the lease for resale. Oil/Nat. gas production would significantly increase lowering the price of gas and heating oil. These changes to the tax code would favor investment here instead of overseas. More than double the amount invested here has been invested overseas the past decade because of our tax code and production costs. Production costs should have us and the rest of the industrialized west tell WTO entered values must reflect the min. hourly wage of a country for the labor cost of goods imported. We have let the industrial giant that dominated the 20th century become the largest importer, worst trade balance country in the world.

Oct 07, 2013 6:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JamesChirico wrote:
You don’t negotiate with people holding a gun (debt limit), you take them out. Americans love you when you stand up to bullies and take them out. The Senate proposed a 998 billion discretionary spending, far from the president’s budget request of 1.2 trillion, more than the 967 in the Ryan budget. The GOP has already paid laid off gov’t workers but private sector hurt continues with the shutdown (300 million daily). The GOP always tries to overreach asking for too much. That leads to CRs to run the gov’t.

Tax reform for American economy growth is not giving more to the wealthy to open another WalMart factory in China. We should make all foreign taxes paid by multinationals not deductible, tax on foreign income paid annually instead of the possible 3 year deferment. Shell corps. holdings worth more than $500,000 in total should be taxed every 2 years based on balance sheet growth ending no taxes paid by rich shell corp. investors. Capital gains should be indexed with 20% on over $500,000, 25% on over 10 million to pay for a Reagan investment tax credit. Leased federal land not 25% developed should have leasee lose the lease for resale. Oil/Nat. gas production would significantly increase lowering the price of gas and heating oil. These changes to the tax code would favor investment here instead of overseas. More than double the amount invested here has been invested overseas the past decade because of our tax code and production costs. Production costs should have us and the rest of the industrialized west tell WTO entered values must reflect the min. hourly wage of a country for the labor cost of goods imported. We have let the industrial giant that dominated the 20th century become the largest importer, worst trade balance country in the world.

Oct 07, 2013 6:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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