In The News
Recently, President Barack Obama released his budget proposal for the upcoming year. Among the many elements of this proposal were recommendations for creating savings in Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health programs — by his estimate, about $402 billion of savings over a decade. Assuming that number is correct, what is missing from the budget is a clear sense of how we can find savings to shore up health care programs for the next 50 years.
Congress regularly weighs policy reforms that affect our national economic mooring for decades, but the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is limited in its official scoring to a 10-year budget horizon. It’s time to give the agency tasked with estimating the cost of Congressional policy proposals the resources it needs to present long-term budget projections to Capitol Hill. A bill introduced last week by Reps. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) would do just that, by creating a new division within CBO tasked solely with long-term budget scoring. The bill is particularly timely as...
Thumbs Up: To Rep. Reid Ribble and Rep. Mark Pocan, for their bipartisan approach to federal medical research funding. Ribble, R-Sherwood, and Pocan, D-Madison, introduced a bill this week that would provide $5 million for the Congressional Budget Office, the federal government’s nonpartisan number-crunching agency, to estimate the costs and benefits of legislation for several decades. Currently, the CBO makes estimates for the next 10 years. Their goal, as it affects medical research, is to show that investing in it will pay off for the nation in the long term. It’s a different approach —...
Rep. Reid Ribble calls himself a “budgeteer” and can often be heard ruminating on the fiscal benefits of such banal-sounding topics as inter-modal transportation. So when the Green Bay-area Republican decided to tackle the issues of chronic diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer’s, he approached it as a number-cruncher. The product of his work —the “Long-Term Studies of Comprehensive Outcomes and Returns for the Economy Act” —was slated to be introduced Wednesday.
The federal government shutdown may have cost the economy billions by some estimates, but it was a boon for some Wisconsin charities, who banked checks for thousands of dollars thanks to members of the state’s congressional delegation. Reps. Reid Ribble of Sherwood, Tom Petri of Fond du Lac, Paul Ryan of Janesville, Ron Kind of La Crosse, and James Sensenbrenner of Menomonee Falls all donated their pay from the 16-day shutdown — roughly $7,400 — to charities in their districts.
Shortly after arriving in Congress three years ago, U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble did something unusual: The Republican lawmaker invited a Democratic colleague to dinner. Ribble was frustrated by the polarization in Washington, which included his first committee meeting. “Republicans were sequestered into their room,” Ribble, R-Sherwood, recalled this week. “Democrats were sequestered in their room. And the only time you would come together was when you were going to mark up a bill. But at that point it’s already antagonistic.
Before U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble was elected to Congress, he envisioned Democrats and Republicans gathering together to debate important issues and develop legislation. He was stunned when he arrived in Washington to find that members of the two parties often don’t come together until it’s time to mark up bills, and by then, they already feel antagonistic.
Thumbs Up: To U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Sherwood, for pushing a bill that would require two-year federal budgets. Though it can be argued that, since Congress seems to have so much trouble passing a one-year budget that a two-year budget would make it even worse, a two-year budget makes more sense. Going to a two-year budget theoretically would allow more time to look at each section of spending and determine what’s needed and what’s wasteful. More practically, the current system just isn’t working. So a two-year plan appears to have enough advantages to make it worthwhile.
News alert for Washington’s budget mavens: While the spotlight was riveted on the House action Tuesday to raise the debt ceiling, the House Budget Committee was quietly endorsing a measure that eventually may produce a dramatic overhaul of the byzantine budget process. With a bipartisan vote of 22 to 10, the committee approved a bill drafted by Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI) that would shift the budgeting process from an annual to a bi-annual affair.
"While far from perfect, the 2014 farm bill will save taxpayers $23 billion from the previous farm bill," Ribble said. "The bill eliminates direct payments to farmers who were previously paid regardless of market conditions, and this bill repeals or consolidates nearly 100 additional programs.