Sen. Pat Toomey isn't too optimistic about the first meeting of Congress' budget conference.
We're definitely not getting a grand bargain and now, Sen. Pat Toomey said he expects another temporary funding bill.
The 29-member committee of 22 senators and seven representatives will sit down Wednesday afternoon to begin negotiating a budget deal. They’ve got six weeks to hammer out a deal and reconcile the differences between the House of Representatives budget and the Senate’s budget.
“Honestly, it’s very, very difficult to imagine that we could resolve all the differences,” the Pennsylvania Republican said on Morning Joe, reminding the panel that the budgets are light years apart, particularly on revenue—the House budget includes no new revenue while the Senate includes a trillion dollars in new tax revenue.
So what might actually result? Another temporary funding bill and an end to shutdowns.
“What we could do is reach an agreement on funding the government for the rest of the fiscal year and avoid any kind of drama in January when the current funding bill expires,” he said. Additionally, he hopes to pass a bill that would fund the government even through future Congressional stalemates like the recent budget battle that left the federal government shutdown for 16 days.
“Let’s end government by crisis!” he said.
Toomey, like many of his Republican brethren, hope to use sequestration as leverage to accomplish their goals.
“I’d be very open to substituting more sensible ways to save money than the ones we have in place,” Toomey said, explaining that he hopes to change parts of the nation’s extensive mandatory spending—“which are actually the drivers of our nation’s long-term fiscal deficit”—in exchange for restoring some funding that was cut by the blunt, across-the-board cuts that occurred from sequestration.