April 16, 2014

Congress Warned to Heed Fiscal Commission's Recommendations

  • The national debt has grown significantly in recent years due to rising annual deficits. A deficit occurs in any year the government spends more...

How Congress reacts to the recommendations later this year from President Obama’s bipartisan fiscal commission will be important for the credit standing of the United States, according to John Chambers, an official with Standard & Poor’s.

“It is very important for Congress to take the required steps,” Chambers said in a Dow Jones Newswires interview late last month.

The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform faces a deadline of Dec. 1 for making its recommendations. Support from at least 14 of the 18 commission members is required for any recommendation, a high hurdle. And many in Washington question whether Congress would approve recommendations that would involve tax increases or significant cuts in popular programs like Medicare.

But Chambers’ warning is a reminder that investors in the United States and around the world may have higher expectations for immediate results from the commission process than do many lawmakers. That is something that commission members and lawmakers alike should keep in mind.