The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, known as the Super Committee, proceeded with another week of discussion in attempt to reach an agreement on a $1.2 trillion deficit reduction plan. The Budget Control Act requires the Committee to submit a plan to Congress by November 23.
Both Democrats and Republicans have proposed plans to reach the deficit goal, but plans from both parties have been rejected by committee members (see Memo, 11/11). On November 16, committee Co-Chair Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) made a statement indicating that he believed the committee may reach an agreement. By November 18, reports indicated that members were not close to an agreement and news accounts on November 20 indicated that no agreement would be reached.
The committee submitted portions of individual members’ plans to the Congressional Budget Office in order for those measures to be scored. The committee may hold a public hearing the week of November 21.
If the committee does not reach its deficit reduction goal, funds will be sequestered from discretionary funding starting in January 2013 to make up the difference between any savings identified by the committee and the $1.2 trillion total. Sequestration would result in significant cuts to HUD and USDA Rural Housing programs.
Sequestration may result in lower cuts than a Super Committee bill. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) compared potential impacts for non-defense domestic discretionary programs, the area of the budget by which housing programs are funded, with the latest Democratic committee proposal. If the committee had agreed to a plan that would cut domestic discretionary spending without a firewall between defense and non-defense spending, cuts to housing programs could be more severe than if funds were sequestered.