The 114th Congress convenes next week, and the budget moves they should make early on are clear to a number of defense experts. One of them is retired U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Arnold Punaro, the chief executive officer of the Punaro Group. In his Top 3 for 2015, he tells In Depth with Francis Rose why dealing with the sequester, the debt and the deficit should be the top priority.
Will Congress and the Executive Branch address the nation’s long-term fiscal challenges in terms of a grand compromise on entitlements, discretionary spending and revenues?
The inability of the two branches to reach agreement is what triggered the sequester in the first place.
Three years of sequester have done absolutely nothing to change the trajectory, and our national debt is expected to go up by trillions of dollars more.
Talk is cheap when it comes to complaining about whether a universal agreement is an unsustainable course.
On issues of national importance, will the two branches approach the power shifts with a spirit of cooperation or continued confrontation?
Neither side has the “leverage” on the other they think.
A Republican Congress is not going to default on the debt.
A Democratic President can’t “veto” his priorities into a bill.
The tension between compromise and confrontation will change depending on the issues.
Will the new leadership in the Congress really bring back “regular” order? That means passing a budget resolution that sets the targets for spending in a timely fashion and marking up and passing the appropriation bills on time prior to the beginning of the fiscal year.
Will these processes be used to make points or to pass laws?
Will the new majorities in Congress put pressure on government workers and government contractors?
Will the presidential campaigns complicate and impact the legislative agenda in 2015?
In our special radio report, Top 3 for 2015, federal experts tell In Depth host Francis Rose what top three concepts, trends or priorities they believe will be important in 2015.