What Congress faces on Defense in the lame duck
Our colleagues report for National Journal subscribers on sequestration and the Defense Department -- and what we could see from Congress during the lame duck.
It seems as if some Democrats and Republicans are beginning to see eye to eye on an approach to halting the $55 billion set to take effect next year.
Sara Sorcher explains:
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has said he is looking for a four-month "mini Simpson-Bowles" deal that could include additional spending cuts (including defense) and new revenues, to provide "some confidence" to strike a grand bargain to reduce the deficit down the road. Even Democrats appear to be warming up to the idea of a short-term deal, as House Budget Committee ranking member Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said he also wants to find "some kind of agreement" to achieve deficit-reduction goals for six months and avert the across-the-board cuts that way.
But wait there's more. If the sequestration cuts do go into effect, some contractors would potentially have to give notice to thousands of employees. Democratic appropriators have said it's not necessary to needlessly worry thousands of employees without knowing which programs would be affected if sequestration happens. What does this mean for contractors and for members of Congress? Here's Sorcher again:
One way or another, companies will have to make a decision on how they interpret the law. If notices are sent this fall -- late October for most states -- lawmakers are likely to start hearing more from their constituents who would have tangible, personalized warning about how sequestration could directly affect them.
Subscribers can read more here.