Gang of Six: Another Senate Power Grab
From what I can gather about the vague deficit reduction outline offered by the Gang of Six, it would be another move by the Senate to consolidate the actual task of legislation in the upper chamber. It would be yet another step in a process that has been getting worse for years due to Senate’s abuse of the filibuster to create an artificial bottleneck for all bills.
It appears that the bulk of the Gang of Six’s deficit reductions come from simply empowering the relevant Senate committees to decide on cuts at predetermined levels. The Senate committees would then write the pieces of legislation that get fast-tracked through Congress.
What appears absent from the Gang of Six proposal is any real role for the House of Representatives in this process. The Gang of Six wants a big piece of legislation that would dramatically reshape our government, and they want it to be written in the Senate.
The Gang of Six’s proposal is very similar on a policy level to the vague grand bargain deal offered by President Obama, which House Republicans already rejected earlier this month. However this proposal contains the added insult of transferring more power from the House to the Senate. While this proposal doesn’t have the taint of technically coming from Obama himself, it seems that the Senate power grab aspect should make it even less attractive to House Republicans than the previous grand bargains the House has already rejected.