WASHINGTON – A top Senate Democrat Tuesday outlined a budget plan to cut the deficit below levels projected by President Obama.

The plan by Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., would also allow Democrats later this year to advance legislation on priorities such as taxes, energy and job creation without fear of a Republican filibuster.

The hope is to wrestle the deficit down to $545 billion in five years, in part by aggressively curbing spending on the domestic programs Congress funds each year. The deficit hit a record $1.4 trillion last year.

Like Obama, Conrad would extend middle-class tax cuts passed during President George W. Bush’s first term but let those for upper-income taxpayers expire.

But unlike Obama’s budget, the plan forecasts tax increases elsewhere in the budget if millions of middle-class taxpayers are to avoid the alternative minimum tax. It also would require tax increases to finance estate tax relief for couples inheriting more than $7 million.

Conrad released only sketchy highlights Tuesday in advance of a two-day panel session that’s a precursor to floor debate before Memorial Day.

The annual congressional budget is a nonbinding blueprint for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 and sets the parameters for subsequent tax and spending bills.

 


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.