With less than three weeks until their deadline, U.S. budget negotiators have yet to break an impasse over revenue, prompting lawmakers to draft plans to blunt $19 billion in defense cuts set to start in January.
Congressional aides are looking at reductions to mandatory programs outside of Social Security and Medicare to replace automatic spending cuts hurting research and the Pentagon, said two aides involved in the process.
Vice President Joe Biden is focusing on possible spending cuts for military and federal workers’ pensions and programs including agriculture on the third day of bipartisan debt-reduction talks this week, said Representative Chris Van Hollen, who is part of the discussions.
President Barack Obama said the U.S. has “a unique opportunity to do something big to tackle our deficit,” and that he opposes a short-term measure that would raise the country’s debt limit without addressing more basic fixes to the government’s finances.
President Barack Obama said he opposes a deficit-cutting measure allowing for only a short-term increase in the U.S. debt limit as he called a meeting tomorrow with Republican and Democratic lawmakers to seek long-term fixes in the government’s finances.
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid will appoint Senators Patty Murray of Washington, Max Baucus of Montana and John Kerry of Massachusetts to a special committee charged with finding $1.5 trillion in budget savings.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is preparing to release a more detailed plan to overhaul the tax code soon, said a person who attended a policy roundtable event with Romney in Washington yesterday.