- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, on Wednesday said Congress should consider using a budget window longer than 10 years as congressional Republicans look for a way to pass a tax reform package.

“I do, and my understanding is that you can do that without legislative change,” Mr. Mulvaney said.

Mr. Mulvaney was responding to a question at a House Budget Committee hearing from Rep. Jim Renacci, an Ohio Republican who also sits on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee.

“My understanding is over the course of the last couple administrations, some budgets have been five years, some have been seven … we sort of settled on this 10-year budget window for the last couple of years,” Mr. Mulvaney said.

“And we [will] continue to do it like that,” he said. “We are exploring the possibility of also looking a little further out, especially when you start to talk about changes in mandatory spending.”

“I think it’s a more reasonable way to look at the budget window, and I think it’s important for us to look at whatever options give us the best and most common sense view of the economy and our proposals to change it,” he said.

Republicans anticipate that they’ll use a reconciliation package to pass tax reform, which could prevent them from passing legislation that adds to the deficit outside the budget window they use, which has typically been 10 years.

But Sen. Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania Republican, has floated a proposal to simply extend that window, with the idea being that there will be more time for anticipated economic effects from the tax package to kick in and theoretically boost revenues a bit further down the line.

“It is possible … to game the system in order to move the costs of a program outside of the budget window,” Mr. Mulvaney said. “We’re coming very close to outside [the] budget window of the original Affordable Care Act, and now you’re starting to see the costs rack up at an exponential rate.”

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