Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Obama Administration To Host Fiscal Responsibility Summit

The summit will be next week at the White House.

The New York Times has the preliminary details:
The White House is finishing plans for what it is calling a “fiscal responsibility summit,” a three-hour bipartisan wonk-fest. Invitations are going out this week to 90 people: 30 members of the House, 30 senators and 30 scholars and representatives of advocacy groups such as AARP, according to a person familiar with the plans.

The afternoon session is not expected to yield any policy decisions, but to “underscore how big the problems are” and to air potential solutions, this person said. Administration officials have put out the word that the summit will not be the occasion to announce a task force on keeping Social Security solvent for the long-term, as they had considered, though such a panel may be formed eventually.

After Mr. Obama opens the summit, the assemblage will break into six groups. Each will discuss separate topics that encompass the range of fiscal challenges that would exist even without the current recession and will endure once the economy recovers. The topics include health-care costs, Social Security, tax reform, defense procurement and the federal budget process.

From Congress, invitees include House and Senate leaders of both parties, the Democratic chairmen and senior Republicans on several committees, and representatives of some caucuses, including the fiscally conservative Democratic “Blue Dogs” in the House.

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