With another fiscal deadline looming for congress and the president, this time concerning sequestration mandated spending cuts to take effect on March 1, John Dinan, professor of politics and international affairs, can comment on negotiations over an alternative deficit-reduction package to replace the sequester cuts.
“Although much of the discussion to date has focused on assigning responsibility for the inclusion of the sequester in a summer 2011 debt-ceiling increase deal and also with determining the consequences if the cuts do take effect, the more pressing question is whether the president and congress can strike a deal on an alternative deficit-reduction package to replace the scheduled cuts,” Dinan says. Unlike prior battles over the debt-ceiling increase in summer 2011 and tax hikes on upper-income earners as part of the fiscal-cliff deal at the start of 2013, where deals were eventually reached, Dinan sees fewer indications that a deal to avert sequestration can be struck.
According to Dinan: “The president appears unwilling to accept an alternative package focusing solely on spending cuts, and congressional Republicans appear equally unwilling to support an alternative package that contains revenue increases, and barring any movement in the two positions the sequester may be allowed to take effect and any ill consequences addressed later in the month as part of negotiations leading up to the March 31 deadline for funding many government agencies through the end of the fiscal year.”
Dinan teaches courses in Congress, State Politics, and Campaigns and Elections.
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