The deal, point by point

  • President Obama is authorized to increase the debt limit by at least $2.1 trillion in three steps, allowing Treasury to continue to borrow through 2012 and lawmakers to avoid a retread of this fight in six months.
  • Nearly $1 trillion of spending cuts over 10 years will be implemented immediately through discretionary spending caps.
  • Congress will vote on a balanced budget amendment before the end of the year.
  • A bicameral, bipartisan group of 12 lawmakers will be charged with identifying additional deficit cuts worth about $1.5 trillion. The joint select committee must report precise deficit-reduction proposals by November 23, the day before Thanksgiving, and Congress must vote on the group's package by December 23.
  • Should the committee fail to come to an agreement on a deficit-reduction package, automatic across-the-board spending cuts worth about $1.2 trillion will kick in starting in 2013 - with 50 percent coming from defense and 50 percent coming from domestic programs - in order to raise the debt ceiling by an equivalent amount. Entitlements largely get a pass: Social Security and Medicaid would be exempted from the cuts, and Medicare would only face cuts to providers and insurers, not beneficiaries.
  • The White House is assuring supporters that the committee can raise taxes, and several senators have said that, as far as they know, there will be no restrictions on the committee. But House Speaker John Boehner's PowerPoint, sent to his conference, says the group "effectively" cannot raise revenues because any plan it puts forward must be scored by the Congressional Budget Office on current law, which assumes that the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 will expire at the end of 2012. Either way, it's kind of a moot point: It's hard to believe the six Republicans on the committee will agree to raise tax rates. Still, Obama maintains the ability to veto an extension of the Bush cuts if Congress fails to get the ball rolling on comprehensive tax reform, which means that closing "loopholes" and ending various subsidies will almost surely be a big part of the committee's discussions -- and taxes will continue to fuel the fury of liberals and conservatives alike as the House gears up for a vote on the deal this week.
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.