Budget Negotiators Will Go Home Before They Go Big
“Kicking the can down the road” is about as tired an expression as there is to describe the fiscal strategy in Washington right now, but it’s fitting. The October impasse and 16-day partial government shutdown was resolved with a stopgap measure that only delayed the most pressing fiscal issues facing the United States, and expectations that the recently established budget committee will manage to reach a functional long-term deal are low.
With political tensions as tight as they are and congressional approval ratings at record lows — and with other major issues like the Affordable Care Act on the table — policymakers appear eager to make the most of the temporary fiscal ceasefire and take some sort of action before the holiday recess. Negotiators headed by committee co-chairs Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) are expected to make an announcement related to between $100 billion and $200 billion in spending cuts by December 13.
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) said during ABC’s ”This Week” on Sunday that policymakers are “making progress” and “moving in the right direction.” Ed Lorzen, a senior adviser to the Committee for a Responsible Budget, told Bloomberg that “they are really close to a deal.”