While most Americans are gearing up for Thanksgiving, twelve lucky members of Congress are more concerned with November 23. That is the deadline given to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or the “super committee,” to propose $1.2 trillion of reductions to the country’s long-term deficit.
If the committee fails to make any progress or if Congress fails to vote by December 23, then automatic cuts will take place. These would be divided evenly amongst defense and non-defense sectors, although Medicaid and Social Security would not be affected.
Furthermore, Congress is required to vote on an amendment implementing a constitutionally mandated balanced budget by December 31, 2011. Yesterday, the committee listened to debt plan proposals from Senators Alan Simpson and Pete Dominici, and former Clinton White House officials Erskine Bowles and Alice Rivlin.
What were the specifics of those plans? With all these deadlines looming, what is the general tenor of discussions? Is the committee moving forward in a bipartisan fashion, as envisioned? What is on and off the table for cuts? Beyond the “super committee,” what is happening in Congress?
Xavier Becerra, (D – CA) Congressman for California’s 31st District. Member of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. California’s 31st includes Atwater Village, Eagle Rock, Echo Park, Glassell Park, Highland Park, Montecito Heights, Westlake/Pico Union, and South Los Angeles.
David Mark, Senior Editor, POLITICO & author of "Going Dirty: The Art of Negative Campaigning"