Outlines of Debt Compromise Emerge
President Obama has said he would only sign a short-term extension (days, not weeks) if it were linked to an extension of borrowing authority that lasts beyond the 2012 election.
According to sources, the Senate would use the military construction appropriations bill, one currently available for action, as the vehicle for the short-term extension. This element of the arrangement, like everything else, is subject to modification. But those close to the negotiations expect Congress to slow things down without jeopardizing the nation’s full faith and credit. A debt extension of days would achieve that goal.
Other component parts of the tentative deal include:
$2.8 trillion in deficit reduction with $1 trillion locked in through discretionary spending caps over 10 years and the remainder determined by a so-called “Super Committee.”
The Super Committee must report precise deficit-reduction proposals by Thanksgiving.
The Super Committee would have to propose $1.8 trillion in spending cuts to achieve that amount of deficit reduction over 10 years.
If the Super Committee fails, Congress must send a balanced-budget amendment to the states for ratification. If that doesn’t happen, across-the-board spending cuts would go into effect and could touch Medicare and defense spending.
No net new tax revenue would be part of the special committee’s deliberations.