Speculation Abounds About What Is On The Deficit Panel’s List
Some Democrats have concerns that defense budget cuts are no longer being considered by the super committee. If this is true, it would force deep cuts to health programs and other discretionary spending.
Politico: Leaders Intervene With Debt Panel
With time running out, House and Senate leaders are inserting themselves more into behind-the-scenes deficit talks, exchanging proposals and trying to help the so-called super committee avert the threat of a $1.2 trillion across-the board spending cut if no agreement is reached. The politics for both parties — and the leaders themselves — are very delicate (Rogers, 10/25).
Los Angeles Times: Congress Works To Avert Defense Budget Cuts
Super committee Democrats have concerns that the panel's work could be undermined by suggestions that defense is off the table, according to an aide familiar with the deliberations. With Republicans already refusing new taxes, that would force disproportionate cuts on health, education and federal programs for the poor (Mascaro, 10/25).
In other Capitol Hill news —
The Washington Post: Minor Tax Issue Takes Uphill Turn In Congress
The House will vote Thursday on whether to adjust an obscure tax provision that is widely expected to be a huge burden on government contractors and cost jobs should it take effect as scheduled in 2013. … For example, House Republicans on Thursday are expected to propose paying for the repeal by tightening Medicaid and Medicare eligibility and reducing federal health care costs. The White House said Tuesday that it supports the idea, which could save as much as $13 billion over the next 10 years, but many congressional Democrats are opposed (Helderman, 10/25).
Modern Healthcare: White House Backs Change To Reform Law's Income Definition
The Obama administration on Tuesday lent its support to an upcoming House bill that would change a tax-related provision included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In a Statement of Administration Policy, the White House said it supports passage of the measure that would change the definition of modified adjusted gross income in the Affordable Care Act to include both taxable and nontaxable Social Security benefits. That definition will be used to determine eligibility for Medicaid, the State Children's Health Insurance Program, and tax credits and cost reductions for the state insurance exchanges beginning in 2014 (Zigmond, 10/25).