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Congress returns to consider debt taxes housing and cybercrime
WASHINGTON (9/13/11)--The U.S. House and Senate are back in session this week and the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction launches its inaugural hearing today to study the history and drivers of the national debt. Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf will testify during that hearing. Deficit reduction also will be the lead topic at a hearing today by the Senate Banking subcommittee on fiscal responsibility and economic growth on the role that tax reform could play in deficit reduction and U.S. fiscal policy. Former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan and assorted academics are set to testify during that hearing. Today also will feature discussions on housing finance reform, as the Senate Banking Committee investigates, through the testimony of academics, whether a government guarantee is needed in housing finance. Housing-related discussions will continue on Wednesday as the panel’s subcommittee on housing, transportation and community development studies new ideas for mortgage refinancing and restructuring. Senate committees will remain busy on Thursday as the Senate Budget Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee address economic policy and data security, respectively. On the other side of the Hill, the House Financial Services subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit also will discuss data security during a Wednesday hearing entitled “Cybersecurity: Threats to the Financial Sector.” The House Budget Committee has also set a Wednesday hearing on “the Need for Pro-Growth Tax Reform.” A scheduled House Financial Services Committee hearing on the housing finance system in the global context, which was to take place on Thursday, has been postponed; the future date has not been announced.


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