Obama to urge Congress to revisit $1.2T in cuts
In its budget submission next month, the Obama administration will urge lawmakers to revisit the failed attempt by a congressional supercommittee to cut the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion, the White House says.
The proposal runs counter to the common wisdom in Washington that any major deficit reduction effort is unlikely in a presidential election year. Instead, lawmakers are focusing on a one-year extension of a payroll tax cut and supplemental jobless benefits sought by the president as part of last fall’s jobs agenda.
But also looming are sweeping across-the-board spending cuts required next year because of the supercommittee deadlock. Top lawmakers like House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., are focusing on a less ambitious one-year plan to give the Pentagon a reprieve from cuts that both the administration and Republicans say would cripple the military.
The White House plan, likely to reprise new taxes and fee proposals that are nonstarters with Capitol Hill Republicans, would turn off the entire nine-year, $1.2 trillion across-the-board spending cuts, referred to as a “sequester.”
“We have a sequester coming less than a year from now unless Congress acts,” said a senior administration official. “We’re going to ask Congress to do now what we think Congress should have done in December, which is enact more than $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction, turn off the sequester and maintain the (spending caps).”