The House Oversight Committee is holding a hearing this morning on the prospect of allowing state bankruptcy. Facing budget deficits of more than $100  billion on aggregate through the next fiscal year, a $3 trillion unfunded pension liability, and soaring Medicaid costs, many policy experts and political observers have begun to debate whether state bankruptcy code might be the best option to help states rectify unsustainable pension systems and prevent a federal bailout of the most profligate states. Testifying at today’s hearing:

Nicole Gelinas – Manhattan Institute 

Professor David Skeel – University of Pennsylvania Law School 

Eileen Norcross – Mercatus Center 

Iris Lav – Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

As e21 correctly points out, the issue of state bankruptcy is quite complex, with many moving policy, political, and legal parts. As such, today’s hearing will likely serve as the opening salvo in a long and healthy debate in congress on state budgetary problems.

For live updates from the hearing, follow Reuters' Jim Pethokoukis on twitter: @JimPethoKoukis.

Elsewhere on the Hill, the Public Pension Transparency Act, a bill that would be a prerequisite to state bankruptcy legislation, will be featured at an afternoon press conference in the Capitol Visitors Center. The event starts at 12:30. Speakers include ATR president Grover Norquist, along with bill sponsors Rep. Devin Nunes, Rep. Paul Ryan, Rep. Darrell Issa, Sen. Richard Burr.

Start Time: 12:30 PM

Location: Capitol Visitors Center / HVC-200