Republican and Democratic congressional leaders are weighing whether to delay automatic federal spending cuts until March 2013, according to a House aide and industry officials who were briefed on the discussions. [...]Gee, Congress kicking the legislative can down the road? Who'd have thunk it?
Leaders in both chambers are discussing whether to propose a catch-all bill that would delay the automatic cuts, fund the government through March or later and temporarily extend the George W. Bush-era tax cuts and other tax laws, said the House aide and industry officials, who asked to speak on condition of anonymity.
“It is being seriously considered as one of the options and there is no doubt about that,” Steve Bell, the senior director of the Economic Policy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said in an interview.
Actually, this could be a better scenario than some that have been in the works, namely a lame-duck session in which the deficit peacocks run wild with Simpson-Bowles, giving away the entitlements store in order to get Republicans to, maybe, get rid of the tax loophole for corporate jets. That's being pushed now by Erskine Bowles and a new and improved Alan Simpson in the form of retired Sen. Judd Gregg. (Simpson apparently had become far too much of a liability with his crazy old coot act, so he's finally been replaced with a smarmier model.) Bowles and Gregg have been meeting with a bipartisan bunch of senators in hopes of "reinvigorating" B-S.
So, yes, postponing the whole mess until after the elections, when decisions won't be made by a bunch of guys with one foot out the door already, but by duly reelected representatives, might be preferable. That, though, depends on the outcome of this election. If it were a House of Representatives led by Nancy Pelosi, a still-Democratic senate, and President Obama in the White House, it would be a far better thing. If not, well, we're all screwed anyway.