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News Link • Government Debt & Financing

Congressional joint committee fails to agree on budget cuts. Bring on the sequestration!

• Jan C. Ting, Newsworks

The bitter fight over raising the ceiling on the national debt was resolved only by authorizing a joint bi-partisan congressional committee of 12 members to propose budget cuts of $1.2 trillion over 10 years. The deadline for the committee is November 23, 2011, with implementing legislation to be enacted by both houses by December 23, 2011. If no legislation is enacted, the law resolving the debt ceiling deadlock provides that $500 billion will automatically be cut from military spending, and another $500 billion cut from non-military spending over the next 10 years.

It seems clear now that the joint committee itself is deadlocked along partisan lines and will fail to meet its November 23 deadline, making congressional enactment by December 23 of the required budget cuts almost impossible. Efforts have begun, mainly by Republicans but including some Democrats, to somehow enact a cancellation of the required $500 billion sequestration of military funding, perhaps offsetting it by additional sequestration of non-military spending.


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