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Washington, D.C. – Under questioning this morning from Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, the head of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said reforming the nation’s tax code could reduce the federal debt and improve the nation’s economy. The questions to CBO Director Doug Elmendorf came during the second meeting of a joint House-Senate Budget Conference Committee which is charged with producing a report to Congress on spending reforms by December 13, 2013. Crapo, a member of the conference committee and the Senate Budget Committee, supported tax and spending reforms during his work with the Senate’s “Gang of Six” and with the president’s Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

“Director Elmendorf confirmed in his opening testimony that we are on an unsustainable path with our growing debt,” Crapo noted. “While the economy has not completely felt the full effects of the borrowed Obama stimulus money from 2009, which I opposed, the director confirmed a stimulus-caused economic drag is coming and will compound the problem of our mounting debt. Along with building onthe spending cuts that have already been achieved, a top priority right now must be to enact pro-growth tax reform that flattens the base and lowers the rates. Director Elmendorf confirmed to the committee that this type of reform would have a positive stimulating impact. This committee has a lot of work remaining and only a short time to accomplish it, but I remain optimistic that some type of deal can be reached.”