The budget-cutting “Supercommittee” formed in the wake of August’s debt ceiling deal that has been tasked with finding meaningful austerity measures to put the U.S. government on a track to fiscal balance has, to no one’s surprise, not come close to anything significant.
Sen. Toomey recently floated the idea that Congress could change the rules on the Supercommittee so that they could also avoid the “automatic trigger” cuts that would be enacted in case the Supercommittee fails to reach a deal.
Toomey said, however, that Congress is “very likely” to reconsider the triggers, and that would involve “a lively debate” but ultimately cuts would occur, however, in some fashion. Without that, the dysfunction in Congress will be laid bare both at home and abroad.
Pardon me if I say we’ve heard this story before. The GOP took the country to the precipice of default so that they could plant their flag on achieving serious deficit reduction. With the impending failure of the Supercommittee, conservatives gain nothing. (Well, other than a political victory, because raising the debt ceiling was an unpopular measure with voters.) Congress would rather keep the status quo, refuse to negotiate with each other and refuse to even acquiesce to the cuts that they’ve already agreed to.
President Obama has also issued a veto threat to any attempt to change the details involving the Supercommittee’s failure to reach a deal.