On June 18, the Brookings Institution hosted Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and Representative Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) to discuss different approaches to correct the unsustainable path of our current fiscal policies. Rep. Ryan is the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, and discussed his recent proposal, "A Roadmap for America’s Future," which aims to bring government spending under control by restructuring the tax code, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Ryan represents Wisconsin’s First District and has devoted his five terms in the House of Representatives to addressing the long-term fiscal crisis.
Rep. Cooper is a Democrat on the House Budget Committee who represents Tennessee’s Fifth District. A member of the Blue Dog Coalition, Cooper recently introduced the “Securing America’s Future Economy Commission Act” or SAFE Act, which would establish a commission to address the long-term fiscal outlook.
Brookings Senior Fellow Isabel Sawhill, director of the Brookings’ Budgeting for National Priorities Project, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion. Members of the Brookings-Heritage Fiscal Seminar, who co-authored "Taking Back Our Fiscal Future," discussed the proposals. After the program, the panelists took questions from the audience.