WaPo: Supercommittee Failure Means . . . Nothing

Friday, 18 Nov 2011 12:20 PM

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Despite being just days away from a Thanksgiving deadline, the congressional supercommittee tasked with finding $1.2 trillion in budget cuts isn’t sweating it. Turns out that the dreaded automatic cuts to the budget don’t kick into until 2013, The Washington Post reported.

In other words, should Congress blow the deadline, they have a year to come up with alternatives. Chances for a deal appear to be slipping away with Democratic and Republican members of the committee meeting separately and normally optimistic members seeming glum.

“We’re at a time in American history where everybody's afraid — afraid of losing their job — to move toward the center. A deadline is insufficient,” Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., said according to the Post. “You’ve got to have people who are willing to move.”

Should the committee fail, any debt deal would likely not occur until after the 2012 elections. Not only will massive cuts to the Pentagon and other federal agencies be just weeks away, so will expiration of the tax cuts pushed through by President George W. Bush.

Members of Congress and various interests are already planning for failure. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and others have promised to introduce legislation to prevent $54 billion in defense spending cuts that would begin in January 2013 and Democratic members of the Gang of Six are talking about restarting their efforts, the Post reported.

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