House of Representatives
The Council on Foreign Relations has joined in on those warning of the dangers of the fiscal cliff due to hit early January and unsustainable rising levels of debt. The helpful "backgrounder" piece explains both the domestic, national security, and economic consequences of the cliff as well as some context to how we got to this point.
A few members of Congress are now proposing House-Senate working groups to try and negotiate a compromise that would avoid the squester. From The Hill:
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) said that forming the bipartisan working groups would be a critical piece in getting lawmakers in both chambers on the same page, regarding the automatic defense cuts under sequestration.
Update: The House has passed the reconciliation and replacement bills by a 218-199 vote.
Recently, both the House and Senate proposed cuts to the Department of Agriculture. Though the proposals are fairly similar in magnitude, they achieve their savings in very different ways. With the 2008 Farm Bill expiring in September, it will be interesting to see how these bills will shape the final outcome for that legislation.
Deficit Secondary in Primary – The presidential primary campaign hits a key point this week as "Super Tuesday" contests in several states may go a long ways in determining who will face off against President Obama in November. Although voters constantly rank the economy and federal budget deficit as the top two issues, they seem to have taken a back seat to social issues in the campaign right now. However, CRFB’s U.S. Budget Watch project seeks to elevate fiscal policy in the election.