Congressional debt panel will not reach agreement

The Republican and Democratic leaders of a 12-member congressional “super committee” issued a joint statement on Monday indicating that the group will not reach an agreement. The committee needed to reach an agreement and submit a deficit-reduction plan to the Congressional Budget Office for scoring by Monday, the AP/Washington Post reports.

The panel was tasked with finding at least $1.2 trillion in budget savings over 10 years. However, Republicans said Democrats want to rely too heavily on new tax revenue and will not accept significant cuts to entitlement programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid. Democrats said Republicans are unwilling to allow new taxes to balance spending cuts.

If the panel does not finalize an agreement before Thanksgiving, $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts over 10 years will be implemented beginning in 2013.

If a debt agreement is not reached, House and Senate leaders will have to take action on the sustainable growth rate (SGR) issue. Because the panel is unlikely to offer a plan to Congress, lawmakers must act quickly to fix to the SGR. The most recent “doc-fix” bill, enacted in December 2010, is scheduled to expire on Jan. 1, 2012, at which point physicians face a nearly 30% payment rate cut.

2011-11-21T00:00:00+00:00 November 21st, 2011|Advocacy, Professional Development|