Vice President Joe Biden, aboard Air Force Two during his diplomatic tour of Asia, told reporters that he didn’t have total confidence that the so-called congressional super committee would be able to make the cuts needed.
Biden told reporters that the committee has “a shot of getting a deal that would be viewed by Wall Street, be viewed by everyone, be viewed by the international community as a significant alteration of a trajectory of long-term debt…. We still may end up with the trigger being pulled,” Talking Points Memo’s Brian Beutler reported.
The bipartisan, bicameral 12-person panel is tasked with finding at least $1.2 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade, with their findings due by November.
If the panel fails to report viable cuts in November — in time for passage by the end of the year —or if Congress finds their plan unacceptable, the trigger that Biden mentioned kicks in: the deep cuts will automatically be taken from military spending and health care for the elderly. The trigger’s cuts are politically damaging, to further motivate the panel to compromise and make their own plan.
The committee has reportedly already met in person, but major work is not yet underway. It is likely that the panel will reconvene after Labor Day to begin creating a roadmap to reduce the deficit.