With the collapse of the deficit-cutting supercommittee, Congress’ emergency backup budget-cutting plan now is supposed to take over — automatic, across-the-board spending reductions of roughly $1 trillion from military and well as domestic government programs.
But the big federal deficit reductions that are to be triggered by Monday’s supercommittee collapse wouldn’t kick in until January 2013. And that allows plenty of time for lawmakers to try to rework the cuts or hope that a new post-election cast of characters — possibly a different president — will reverse them.
Congress’ defense hawks will be leading the charge, arguing that the debt accord reached by President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans last summer already inflicted enough damage on the military budget. That agreement set in motion some $450 billion in cuts to future Pentagon accounts over the next decade.
The supercommittee’s failure to produce a deficit-cutting plan of at least $1.2 trillion after two months of work is supposed to activate the further, automatic cuts, half from domestic programs, half from defense. Combined with the current reductions, the Pentagon would be looking at nearly $1 trillion in cuts to projected spending over 10 years.
Reactions from GOP hopefuls:
Romney: “He’s done nothing. It is another example of failed leadership. He has not taken personal responsibility to get the super committee to find ways to balance the budget and cut spending.”
Perry: “The whole reason a super committee was created was because the President wasn’t willing to lead, wasn’t willing to even put on paper his plans for cutting spending.”
The WSJ has good Washington Wire coverage with implications here.
Previous LI coverage of the Super Committee here.