Congressional Mood, ‘Super Committee’ News Highlight Difficulties
The New York Times reports that expectations for the deficit-reduction panel continue to drop, as the Democrats' and Republicans' respective positions on trimming entitlements and raising taxes appear to be hardening. And, in the background, The Wall Street Journal notes that another government shutdown looms as lawmakers fail to make progress in striking a deal to fund the federal branch through Nov. 18.
The New York Times: As Sides Dig In, Panel On Deficit Has An Uphill Fight
As if expectations were not low enough for the special Congressional committee charged with writing a deficit-reduction deal, they seem to be falling by the day as the two parties harden their positions on spending and taxes. Last week began with contradictory markers from President Obama and Speaker John A. Boehner. Mr. Boehner reiterated that Republicans would oppose any tax increases, and then Mr. Obama, newly aggressive, warned that he would veto any measure that would trim Medicare benefits without also raising taxes on the wealthy (Calmes and Steinhauer, 9/25).
The Wall Street Journal: Congress Forced To Stay As A Shutdown Looms
Congress was scheduled to be off this week, but lawmakers must stay in Washington because they made no progress over the weekend in settling a dispute over spending that threatens a possible government shutdown. Despite promises to work together following a public backlash against the bickering that consumed much of the summer, Republicans and Democrats face the reality that disaster aid could run out Tuesday and the government could partially shut down beginning this weekend unless they strike a deal quickly (Bendavid, 9/26).