Our own Gordon Adams routinely points out that any consensus on debt reduction, including an escape from the sequestration impasse, is unlikely before the November elections. In a recent Defense News article, though, he moved on to answer the “what then” question:
It’s not definitive, but the opportunity for a deal is enormous when you get to November and December.
There’s good reason for that sentiment, as Defense News went on to explain:
Around that time, the U.S. Treasury is expected to ask for another extension of the debt ceiling or risk defaulting on U.S. debt. The tax cuts that were first signed into law by President George W. Bush are set to expire at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Appropriations bills for fiscal 2013 will need to be passed, or at the very least a temporary spending bill to avert a government shutdown. Reauthorization is needed for the farm bill and transportation funding. Plus, the so-called “doc fix,” a temporary measure by which doctors are paid by Medicare, will also require legislative action.*
Gordon has been saying all along that everything needs to be on the table to reach a real debt reduction agreement. Late this year will be the first time that the table is fully loaded – and hence the best time to serve up the actual deal.
* Note that this list could also include expiration of the payroll tax break and related questions about unemployment benefits, as the article separately referenced.