The Potential Speed Bump on the Path to a Deficit Deal

Jul 31, 2011 10:09am

ABC News' Jake Tapper reports:

Here’s one of the problems with where the emerging outline of a potential deal.

There does not seem to be much concern that the super-committee, as first proposed by both Speaker Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Reid more than a week ago, wouldn’t be able to come up with a proposal.

“It’s not as though they’ll be starting from scratch,” a Democrat close to the negotiations says, referring to the Gang of 6 proposal, Bowles-Simpson, Domenici-Rivlin.

But what would force Congress to act on their recommendations?

The idea of triggers — as one Democratic official close to the negotiations put it – is to have the risk of a “neutron bomb” going off to force the super-committee to act to reduce the deficit.

Republicans have negotiated tax increases off the trigger table, and Democrats have negotiated away any cuts to entitlement programs.

The White House believes the trigger to force Congress to pass the deficit reduction recommendations of the super-committee should be threatened cuts to both discretionary domestic spending and the Pentagon – 50/50.

House Republicans are pushing for the across the board cuts.

Democrats do not think the threat of the sudden imposition of more than $1 trillion in across the board spending cuts is enough of a threat to House Republicans. They think a lot of them would like that and thus the super-committee would be doomed to fail.

-Jake Tapper

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