WASHINGTON, D.C. (WSAU-Wheeler News Service) - The Wisconsin co-chairman of the new federal budget conference committee said the members' efforts would be doomed if they got into an argument about taxes.
Janesville House Republican Paul Ryan urged the panel at its first meeting today to put off a debate on taxes, and focus instead on spending cuts to reduce the mounting federal deficit. The other co-chair, Senate Democrat Patty Murray of Washington, disagreed with Ryan. She said Republicans would have to work with the Democrats to quote, "Scour the bloated tax code, and close some wasteful tax loopholes and special interest subsidies."
Wisconsin Senate Democrat Tammy Baldwin urged a balanced approach to include both goals expressed by Ryan and Murray.
Wisconsin Senate Republican Ron Johnson said the G-O-P wants to increase government revenues, but only by improving the economy.
The panel was formed as part of the agreement which ended the federal government shutdown a couple weeks ago. It was ordered to come up with a budget fix for the new fiscal year by mid-December. The committee won't meet again until November 13th.